If you are familiar with the technology or educational sectors, you have undoubtedly heard that STEM, which is educational focus in science, tech, engineering and math, is being changed to STEAM, to include the arts and it has become extremely important to ensure that we are teaching these subjects to our children!
Why you may ask…
According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the economy, and are a critical component to this end. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy. This innovation and science literacy depends on a solid knowledge base in the STEM areas. It is clear that most jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. Despite these compelling facts, mathematics and science scores on average among U.S./UK students are lagging behind other developing countries.
The inclusion of the arts component into STEM makes it more fun to learn, and more approachable to kids. A child who has never seen code or computer science learning will be less intimidated and more engaged if it includes something they are familiar with, like an art component, whether that is learning it on an interface that uses a creative component to teach it, or whether they are learning computer science by actually creating something. Children need to be engaged in learning, and learn in ways that can hold their attention, the way social media, and internet sites like Youtube do, The easiest way to do this is to make it fun and interesting. The inclusion of arts does this, for a wider range of children. Something like video art tied into code makes learning look more fun, where the student is solving a problem to create a project they love.
So STEAM education is crucial to educate and prepare our children to create jobs and grow the economy.
Tune in to this episode of TPLC Educational Talkshow were we discuss this topic with Rijole Bitata and others that impact the education of our children.