What are STEM and STEAM?
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STE(A)M, on the other hand, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
Both of these concepts aim to encourage an interdisciplinary approach towards learning, in which kids apply skills from not one but all topics when they encounter a novel problem or learn a new lesson.
If you really think about it- adding Arts to STEM is only natural! After all, one of the key aspects of STEM is innovation, and nothing inspires innovation as much as supporting inventiveness and creative thinking.
But… what’s really the point? Using STEM & STEAM to teach allows parents and educators to nurture a child’s individuality and love for understanding new things. Rather than having a strict set of instructions for kids to follow, giving them the option to explore and come up with their own strategies and solutions, or to be more involved and active in the process of mastering new skills, can become the starting point for a deep-seated love of learning (And, honestly, what more could any teacher or parent want than a child who is eager to learn and understand the world around them?). STE(A)M can also help reinforce the value of critical and analytical thinking, and of applied logic.
This integrative approach that STEM and STEAM take towards teaching is not only exciting , but it is also incredibly practical and easy to transfer- after all, life is rarely neatly divided into subjects! Incorporating STE(A)M into the classroom and regular play is just the kind of thing that can help inspire a whole new generation of active learners, of scientists, explorers, and innovators!
So… what are you waiting for? Time to get your children engaged with some STE(A)M play and activities (just make sure to have fun along the way)!
Want to learn more about STEM and STEAM? Check out these amazing videos!
- What is STEM and STEAM? A Guide for Parents and Educators
- STEM vs. STEAM: How the sciences and arts are coming together to drive innovation
- Integrating Art with STEM Education | Océane Boulais | TEDxBocaRaton
- STEM Education: Developing 21st century problem solvers
- The future of STEM education | Roni Ellington | TEDxBaltimore
- What is STEM? | Leah Bitat | TEDxENP
- Finding curious solutions with STEM | Paige Brown | TEDxDirigo
- Passion for Teaching S.T.E.A.M. | Mya Țărmure | TEDxBucharestWomen
- From STEM to STEAM: How the Arts Introduced Me to Science | Mady Thornquest | TEDxTwinFalls
- Turning STEM into STEAM | Eric Cyphers | TEDxCMU