Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has traditionally been the focus of most schools’ curriculums. Recently, however, there has been a movement to add the arts (STEAM) to this mix to provide students with a more well-rounded education.
What is STEAM vs STEM Learning?
STEAM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. STEAM learning places a larger emphasis on interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving in a hands-on way to prepare students for real-world experiences. It has been proven that when children learn through art activities it can be beneficial to their cognitive development. On the other hand, STEM learning is more focused on the individual disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
How STEAM Benefits Students (8 Reasons)
STEAM learning benefits students in 8 ways:
1. Encourages creativity and innovation
Students who are encouraged to be creative and think innovatively can lead more fulfilling lives.
2. Develops critical thinking skills
STEAM learning encourages students to solve problems in a new way as well as learn from their mistakes. This will help them develop the ability to critically think about situations they come across in the future.
3. Develop fine motor skills
Children who learn through art activities have the opportunity to work on their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are a vital part of learning and can be difficult to develop in children who do not use them often.
4. Provides a well-rounded education
In STEAM learning, students have the opportunity to explore different fields of study. This can help them find their passions and develop a more well-rounded education.
5. Teaches teamwork
STEAM learning requires students to work together to achieve a common goal. This type of teamwork can be beneficial in the future workplace.
6. Encourages risk-taking and failure
STEAM learning encourages students to take risks as well as learn from their mistakes. Failure can be used as a tool for future success.
7. Brings awareness to environmental issues
By exploring art, children may become more environmentally aware and inspired to make changes in their lives and communities.
8. Enhances students’ creativity and thinking skills
Children who attend STEAM programs are more creative and open-minded than those who do not. Creativity and innovation are skills that can help children succeed in their future careers.
How To Incorporate STEAM Learning In-Person or Remotely
There are many ways to incorporate STEAM learning objectives into your curriculum. Here are a few ideas:
1. Have students work on group projects that require them to use different STEAM disciplines.
2. Attend field trips to museums or other places where they can learn about STEAM subjects in a hands-on way.
3. Have students participate in a school carnival that involves art, science, and technology activities.
4. Invite guest speakers from different STEAM fields to speak about their careers and how they use STEAM in their daily lives.
1. Utilize online resources to inspire students to explore different STEAM fields.
2. Have students research a current event that involves a person who is using STEAM in their work.
3. Invite guest speakers from different STEAM fields to speak about how they use the subjects in their daily lives via video conferencing or Skype.
4. Assign students projects that require them to use different STEAM disciplines.
The benefits of STEAM learning are clear and the time is now for schools to make the transition from STEM to STEAM. Students who are exposed to different STEAM disciplines will be better prepared for the future, whether they pursue a career in the arts or one of the STEM fields.
So What Does This Mean for Education?
Many school systems are already transitioning to STEAM learning programs, but if your school is still teaching STEM subjects, consider discussing with other teachers and administrators how to approach making the transition. Also, many online learning platforms allow students to explore different STEAM disciplines through videos, lessons, and projects. If your school does not have the resources to transition to a full STEAM program, using online resources can be a great way to introduce this new wave of learning into your curriculum.
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