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Why STEM Is Becoming STEAM

Anyone with young children in school knows what STEM is. STEM, or Science Technology Engineering and Math has become a common term in today’s educational systems and it is a series of subjects which will help take children, and our country, boldly into the future. Recently, however, many schools have been adding another letter to the STEM acronym.

STEM is slowly becoming STEAM as the Arts have been added. Although it is being met with much criticism, the idea of adding the arts to STEM is gaining steam throughout the UK and the US. Many are arguing that the arts are important and should be a part of STEM, while purists state that the reasoning behind the STEM movement was that the subjects are those that would help prepare students for future careers in science and technology. Both sides do have a point, but only one can be right when it comes to educating today’s youth.


Renew Interest In STEM Programs


By eliminating the separation between science and the arts, educators feel that they can renew interest in the STEM programs which will ensure adequate funding now and in the future.


Does the STEAM movement take anything away from science, technology, engineering, and math in order to make room for art? Experts say no, just the opposite. By adding art to STEM, STEAM can spark students’ imagination and help them think more innovatively both in school and throughout adulthood.


Keeping that in mind, the argument that the arts and science should be kept separate is missing the point entirely. STEAM isn’t about creating more artists or diluting STEM programs, it’s about creating STEM students who are thinking more creatively and becoming more engaged in their learning both in and out of the classroom.


STEAM Examples


Some examples of combining arts with the science, technology, engineering and math courses would be art students learning to code 3D printers so they can create their art in plastic, or geometry students producing mathematical lighting plans for staging in a black-box theater. Not only are students engaging with the arts, they are also using their mathematical, computer and engineering skills as well. STEAM is putting student personality and individuality at the forefront of learning because STEAM is much more people-centric that STEM which focuses more on the subjects themselves.


What is your take on all of this? Do you think STEM should remain as it is, or should we add art into the mix?


Contact Elementary Sciences


To learn more about STEAM and how to get children interested in STEM subjects, contact Elementary Sciences and shop a wide range of innovative and fun science kits for kids.


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