What is STEM?
Classrooms of today largely have lost their students interest or engagement creating a stagnant learning environment. STEM is a 21st century way of learning that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math. This way of learning gets children’s noses out of text books and into an experiment or project. Mostly K-12 schools have been adding STEM to their curriculum and even some colleges have a STEM program.
Why is it important?
Currently the growth of STEM related jobs are skyrocketing. In 2012 the amount of STEM related jobs was 7.4 million and now they are expected to be at 8.6 million (in 2018). With that in mind only 44% of high school graduates are prepared for college level mathematics. STEM learning is the education of the future. The growth of STEM learning will only allow success to flourish.
What is STEAM?
In 1993 America witnessed the largest budget cut of art programs in our history. STEAM is an addition to STEM allowing art to play a part in educational growth. Art had basically disappeared from the average education until President Obama enacted the “Every Student Succeeds” act which includes mandates and funding for STEAM programs in schools. STEAM methods of learning make students more creative and more empathetic; both play a role in happiness. This way of learning isn’t all about the money, it’s about engagement as well. Students stick with subjects better if they can personally identify with them; creating drive and motivation to succeed within that subject.
What’s stopping you?
With all the new studies being done on STE(A)M theories there are too many great results to not trust this as the future of education. Give it a try. Parents can even practice STE(A)M learning at home if the school they are enrolled in doesn’t have a program set up yet. There are a lot of DIY experiments, puzzles, and projects that are STE(A)M driven. The most important thing to remember is the more creative freedom students have within the project the more they will identify with it and that is the magic moment where the student might fall in love with the subject.