STEM vs. STEAM Education in Schools

So let’s discuss this plant sounding thing…

By technical terms, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEAM is the acronym plus Art.

These ideas have been incorporated into schools’ syllabi and also are practised in at-home activities (like making or playing with educational toys).

Cool. But why the “vs”?

It is not simple to write a curriculum. What should we learn? What shouldn’t we learn? After the invention of the internet and all the innovation in tech that’s taking place, education has taken a drastic turn from building a baking soda volcano to building your own robot.

Courtesy of Science Bob
Courtesy of Cleyton

The idea of STEM education started popping up in the early 2000’s and was brought into President Obama’s plan of action in 2009. By focusing on these subjects in schools, students would receive a well rounded education and learn with the assistance of technology.

Since, the idea of STEM has evolved in schools and been incorporated into global curricula; but along the way, educators have seemingly abandoned artistic subjects — resulting in the latest STEAM movement.

According to the University of Florida, students need artistic and musical subjects in addition to STEM classes to reach their full potential.

The University even goes so far as to say that students involved in music and art classes throughout high school earn higher SAT scores than students who don’t.

Crazy right? Well, as much as we want our kids to be future engineers, it’d be great if they could draw out their ideas, too.

We’re not saying everyone needs to be the next Matisse, but in order to get A’s, consider putting the ‘A’ back into your child’s STEM syllabus.

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Want to try some DIY? Here are a few ideas to learn STEAM at home.