Many children grow with the impression that they can either be good at science or art, but not both. Of course, they can be good at both. All they need is help to understand that the two disciplines can wonderfully complement each other. That is why schools need to shift from STEM to STEAM education. STEAM education helps identify the links between science and arts.
Times are changing. And while technology seems to be the reigning thing, there is a need to stimulate creativity in students. STEAM education involves adding more opportunities for students to explore artistic design and creativity instead of limiting them to science, technology, and mathematics. In moving from STEM to STEAM, students truly get the chance to display their knowledge using different techniques.
STEM and STEAM
In education, STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM programming teaches innovation, problem solving and collaboration, among many other skills proven to lead to success.
STEAM, on the other hand, stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The difference is that arts are included, ranging from visual arts, language arts and physical arts to music and more. STEAM focuses on improving imagination and creativity through arts in ways that naturally align with STEM learning.
From STEM to STEAM
By shifting from STEM to STEAM, students can gain the tools they need to excel in the world of science and technology. There is no need to limit our future engineers, scientists, and computer developers. But by fostering their interest in music or art, we broaden their horizons and let kids interested in art and design know that there is a place for them in innovation.
To give STEAM the impact it deserves, educators and students also need to embrace it. That may take time due to wrong notions about the concepts. Many arts educators feel their programs are given less attention at the secondary school level, and some in the STEM field often dismiss art and design as “soft” sciences. They are not. They are the future of education, and it will be exciting to see schools integrate art into traditional STEM in the future – STEAM.
Integrating science, technology, engineering, mathematics with arts is necessary if we want to educate students to harness their full potentials and secure a better future (all-round) for the world.
Reasons to shift from STEM to STEAM
There are numerous reasons to move from STEM to STEAM. But we will outline some of these reasons below:
- STEAM fosters teamwork and collaboration between teachers in a school and the transfer of knowledge between disciplines. When a school develops a STEAM focus, it actively restores art and science to a place of importance.
- STEM to STEAM engages a wider range of students. For example, a boy who loves math can discover a connection between math and music, or a girl who enjoys literature can connect literature and science.
- STEAM increases problem-solving abilities and opportunities, especially with the challenge of translating scientific, mathematical, technological, and engineering ideas into artistic products.
- Adding arts to STEM can be a powerful means to spark emotions and build intrinsic motivation for learning. Through art, STEM content can become more personal, more meaningful, more engaging, and more fun for students while providing them opportunities for self-expression.
- Shifting from STEM to STEAM allows teachers to assess students’ understanding of complex ideas through the artistic products they produce, as translating science and math concepts into art first requires understanding science and math.
- STEAM education allows children to embrace diversity and understand that there are no limits to what they can do.
- Moving from STEM to STEAM also draws both students and teachers closer to reality. It brings us to a world that is not divided into discrete disciplines—to real-world experiences and applications—and to a future that values the importance of innovation and creativity.
- STEAM gives all students the opportunities to develop their innate creativity and find innovative solutions to the problems that face humanity.
- STEAM, as a combination of all disciplines, guarantees a better future for the educational sector.
Shifting from STEM to STEAM is one of the best ways to bring development to the educational sector. Many people believe the tenet that STEM is superior to arts. But it is time to refrain from making unhealthy comparisons and begin to appreciate the importance of both science and arts. And the best way to correct that notion is to shift from STEM to STEAM, combining science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.