WHAT IS S.T.E.A.M?
STEM which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is an integrated learning methodology that has become a focal point in education. The main reason for this initiative is to ensure schools are equipping today's' students with knowledge and skills needed to become successful in the 21st Century global workforce. Research shows that students who study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), gain a variety of skills such as critical thinking, communication and problem solving.
The “A” in STEAM represent the arts, in a broad term that includes liberal arts, language arts, social studies, physical arts, fine arts, and music. The recent STEAM movement is championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), various industry leaders, as well as educators and policy makers. Supporters of the STEAM movement claim that the Arts teaches us a different way of perceiving, knowing and dealing with the world, and furthermore serve as a means to expand the toolbox of science and engineering. You only need to look at a the short list below of famous people who have greatly influenced our world, to recognize the overlapping contributions of the Arts and why it needs to be included in our educational system.
- Steve Jobs – Famous for merging technical design with an artistic flare.
- Leonardo Da Vinci – Both a famous technical designer, and an artist.
- Albert Einstein – “One of Einstein’s great insights, which was the basis of relativity, occurred when he imagined he was riding a light wave.” (Professor Kagan, Harvard)
- Su Song – A renowned Chinese polymath who had a big impact in the engineering, astronomy and pharmacological fields of his day.
The need for S.T.E.A.M Education is critical now more than ever. In the last decade, the United States of America has been dramatically and consistently outranked by other countries in the area of Science, Mathematics and Reading as seen in the latest PISA, Program for International Student Assessment (click here for information on PISA and full or report). Each content exam, is administered to 15 year old students in over 70 countries around the world, every four years.