From STEM to STEAM

… and why that is important.

STEM education

For years there was STEM education: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Some students loved it, most others feared it. It smells geeky, and dry, technical for those who are inclined to fear it. Lately we discover the reason for that could well be that we have been unable to ‘start at the end’. What can one achieve with all that theory, how can we apply it in the real world?

Adding the A for Arts

People discovered that we lacked imagination and creativity as an important tool to inspire and create things, in the process of which the STEM parts become means to an end, not the purpose of lessons. Enter the ‘A’ and STEAM was there: Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Math. To be able to compete in the 21st century, we need (lots) more creative engineers, makers, creators of new things.

Another person who was an advocate for art and creativity in combination with technology:

Both Einstein and Jobs agreed that the ‘A’ belongs in STEAM. At the top of any field, soaring above the dullness of dry theory, are the masters who are able to creatively think up new solutions to problems we perhaps did not even know we had.

Videos

Have a look at this video, where Tom Dubick talks about the importance of STEAM:

It’s great right?

In another video, he presents 13 year old girls from one of his classes who present things they made themselves:

I say: WOW. They were challenged by ‘starting at the end’, and then were given the means to make things work and they did.

 

From STEM to STEAM