STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
Every student possesses unique academic strengths and inclinations, whether in the realm of arts and humanities or mathematics and science. Through the implementation of integrated and holistic STEAM education, students gain a comprehensive understanding of these disciplines as interconnected components of a greater whole. This approach fosters a sense of unity rather than alienation, enabling students to collaborate with their peers in problem-solving endeavours and allowing them to perceive challenging subjects from a fresh and illuminating perspective.
STEAM also taps into children’s natural curiosity and creativity. If you’ve ever tried to find answers to a long series of questions asked by a child, you know how inquisitive they are about the world around them! STEAM lessons focus on deep questioning and finding novel solutions rather than memorizing standard facts and figures that can easily be “Googled.”
What is STEM education versus STEAM education?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while STEAM adds “arts.” However, the difference between STEM and STEAM is far greater than tacking on another letter or even adding design skills to STEM. While STEM expressly focuses on scientific concepts, STEAM builds on these concepts through the creative process. Students engage both the right (creative) and left (logical) sides of the brain to innovate and solve problems.
STEAM education prepares students for an ever-changing workforce.
As we enter a new industrial revolution, educators must prepare students for many jobs that don’t even exist yet, but there is no substitute for human ingenuity and creativity. Humans will need to take on jobs that require creativity, critical thinking and the ability to solve novel problems—the core foundational skills addressed by STEAM.
Technologies will give rise to new positions for human workers with skill sets to leverage big data, AI, machine learning and more. There will be greater demand for augmenting and enhancing human capabilities in both soft and hard skills.