STEAM | 24th July 2021 | Virtual Wire
The traditional system of standardized rote learning that teaches to a test is exactly the kind of education that is not needed in this world plagued by systemic, pervasive, and confusing global challenges.
Today's education system does not focus enough on teaching children to solve real-world problems and is neither interdisciplinary nor collaborative enough in its approach. STEAM education can effectively prepare children for the fourth industrial revolution with the skills and abilities to think outside the box and find creative solutions.
Many educational experts consider STEAM (and its predecessor STEM) to be an essential part of 21st-century education. The term stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math. STEAM Fields of study involve creative processes and none uses only one method of inquiry and exploration.
An extension of STEM education, launched in 2001, STEAM education adds the arts to the existing focus areas. Teaching relevant, in-demand skills that prepare students to become innovators in an ever-evolving world is paramount, not only for the future of the students themselves but also for the future of the country.
In 2014, a study revealed that STEAM and literacy have a positive impact on the development of students' understanding and work in mathematics and literature. With this, further research showed how students were able to increase their skills in math and art.
A later study in 2016 showed even better effects on student learning in science in grades 3 to 5 in high-poverty elementary schools in an urban district. It had students improve their science achievement within 9 hours of STEAM study.
In recent years, much has been proclaimed about the need for more STEM "programs" in schools. Thus, there has been increased investment in STEM initiatives because economics requires so much more than an understanding of these areas - it requires application, creation, and ingenuity.
STEAM is a way to take advantage of STEM and complete the package by integrating these principles into and through the arts. As well as removing limitations and replacing them with wonder, critique, inquiry and innovation.