What is STEM/STEAM All About?


One of the more recent additions to our education system is the incorporation of STEM or STEAM learning systems. At its simplest, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. The addition of the “A” in STEAM signifies Arts as an important point of students’ learning. Many of these subjects are probably familiar to you; however, the push for increasing students’ engagement in these areas goes much farther than taking a class with one of these titles.

Why is STEM Beneficial for Children?

There are so many great reasons to utilize a STEM education for your child. The core belief of STEM is that these four (or five in STEAM) points of education should be taught holistically, meaning that they should be intertwined together. This helps students understand that topics like science and math actually go hand in hand, rather than being separate from one another. Instead of taking a course in Algebra and a separate one in Physical Science, a STEM education incorporates the ideas of both to help students understand how they are related.

In addition, the STEM/STEAM approach is extremely beneficial for helping students increase their critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to ask why or how things happen and are then taught to come up with an answer. The idea of STEM is to help prepare students for the future when they will be tasked with coming up with solutions to problems on their own.

There are many different ways to introduce STEM at home and school. Something as simple as getting out some Legos can lead to a STEM activity. There are also STEM games and resources online to allow children to explore these areas in a technology-friendly way.

STEM and Literacy

Some people may look at the STEM or STEAM acronym and notice that literacy is not explicitly mentioned. However, this does not mean that becoming literate is not just as important in STEM education. Instead of being explicitly defined in the educational curriculum, literacy is explained through the teaching of the other principles. This may mean a student is writing a report on how a certain piece of technology functions or they are tasked with deciphering a mathematical story problem. Whatever the case, becoming literate in the future of our society is still just as important as a person’s knowledge in a science or technical field.

The Future of STEM Programs

We live in an ever-changing and increasingly technological world. The number of jobs in these areas is only going to keep growing, and we will have to keep up if we want to move forward as a society. This is where the largest push for STEM and STEAM programs in our classrooms is coming from. As much of the workforce in the future will be made up of these core principles, our children should be learning and improving on these ideas so they can be prepared for the careers they will have. Almost any job that they will have can be found in these STEAM fields. Some examples are software engineers, architects, scientists, biologists, civil engineers, designers, economists, and so many more. If we can recognize the benefits of including STEM in our students’ education, their futures will be full of opportunities to succeed in our fast-paced world.

Keywords:

What is STEAM all about

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