We hear a lot about STEM education, but over the last couple of years, a new phrase has been on everyone’s lips, STEAM (and now even STREAM), but what are the benefits of steam education over STEM, what extra does it add? Let’s break it down.
What is STEM Education?
Many of us have heard about STEM Education, but very few of us know what it holds for the students. In laymen terms, STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics curriculum is based on the premise of imparting knowledge and education to the students in four major disciplines.
It is an applied and interdisciplinary approach. Instead of teaching these four subjects individually, STEM education integrates them into one thereby creating a cohesive learning paradigm which is based on real-world applications.
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The US has been a leader in these fields, but it was alarming to note that the students focusing on these subjects is going down in recent times. The Department of Education statistics reveal only 16 percent of students studying in high school interested in STEM education and career. As a result, the Government launched a campaign, “Educate to Innovate” motivating and inspiring students to take up these subjects and excelling in them.
The Significance Of STEM Education
In STEM Projects for Kids, the children are endowed with practices and enlightenment to surpass the current notions of the society and to qualify themselves with the capacity to create engineering and scientific innovations.
Although meant for children of classes 4 to 12, at present, this supreme learning is imparted to students at the graduation level. Many schools rely on award-winning STEM toys like building blocks, toys that help kids learn various science activities in a fun way and a lot more for better understanding.
Even though the children are familiarized with such high-grade erudition at the graduation level, when their creative talent gets dwindled significantly; but, the need of the hour is to convey this high-grade learning to the students of classes 4 to 12, so that they can comprehend and articulate their inherent ingenuity, thereby becoming the next gen pioneers.
A lot of children today lack the ability to grasp what’s happening around them, thus molding the difficulties around them into favorable chances and ideas. The students are taught the means to have a thorough understanding of the affairs going on in the world, carry research on them, and put into use that learning to tackle hardships in reality.
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But what is STEAM Education?
We are now moving from STEM Education to STEAM Education. The latter is an educational approach to knowledge and learning that make use of Arts in addition to STEM Subjects, that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
The approach considers these subjects as access points used for offering guidance to the students motivating them to pose questions, indulge in dialogues and train their brains for critical thinking. STEAM toys like teaching time through fun clocks, finding a way through mystery temples and a lot more inculcate the habit of problem-solving.
A result, the students are prepared to engage in experiential learning, take thoughtful risks, try problem-solving, work through the creative process and embrace collaboration. Such students turn out to be educators, innovators, learners, and leaders of the 21st Century.
The Significance Of STEAM Education
In the field of education, we have always been working with the preconceived notion of teaching and learning in such a way to ensure students are gainfully employed once they complete their education. In reality, we are preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist.
Thus, the need of the hour is to change learning environments and make them more dynamic, fluid and relevant. Our world is an intricate tapestry of learning, and the focus must now shift on integrating topics, concepts, assessments and standards in such a way that the students can gain maximum benefit and understanding from whatever they are being taught and can apply in real-life applications.
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The methodology of STEAM Education learning & teaching needs a radical change so that students can directly reach to the heart of learning.
Both STEAM and STEM education focuses on critical and creative thinking skills.
However, one of the benefits of STEAM education is the extra focus on creative instincts, when unleashed can result in the person building a career in sculpture, studio art, performing arts, music and more.
This is a great way for kids to liberate their minds. Both streams talk about concepts and ideas that nurtures creativity.
What Is The Difference Between STEM And STEAM?
We have been hearing a lot about the significance and growing need for STEM programs well-integrated in our school curriculum. The reason behind this need is simple. We are looking at future prosperity, and the same lies in a workforce that is well-trained and educated in expanding job markets like Science, Technology as well as Engineering, and Mathematics.
As a result, the investment in STEM Projects has seen a hike. With the concept of STEAM also making its mark in the field of education, the schools have a choice. So, let us understand what’s the difference between STEM and STEAM education. Let us discuss.
• The focus of STEM Education is more on scientific concepts and learning while STEAM not only investigates these concepts but also lays stress on problem-based and inquiry-related learning methods. The students are encouraged to ask questions so that they gain clarity in complicated concepts.
• STEAM education focuses on students getting an opportunity to learn creatively. Skills like problem-solving are taught to them or rather inculcated which help the students in tackling real-life challenges in a much efficient way. The general capabilities of the students are developed to prepare a future workforce that has belief in their capabilities and can take up challenges’ life throws at them. STEM is also doing the same but with more focus on scientific concepts and its understanding.
• STEAM is a step ahead of STEM education and is fast becoming a global movement. It works by helping students in becoming more creative and uses their intelligence to inspire gen next to interdisciplinary innovators.
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Final thoughts on the benefits of STEAM education
It is thus clear that both STEM and STEAM education and learning has its share of benefits. The idea is to prepare students for jobs that are going to be filled in the future to ensure better financial, economic conditions. The use of toys at an early age help inculcating learning in the students and make their mind open to face and understand challenges. This way, they get an eclectic blend of scientific concepts with creativity which make them well-suited for future jobs.
About the author
Matt is the founder of the Little Robot Shop, who has spent much of the last decade hacking home cleaning with various robots and devices to make keeping his home clean as easy as possible. Not an easy task with two young children.
When not working on the Little Robot Shop website or YouTube channel, he works as technical support and product specialist for a fast-growing digital company. He does his best to get his younglings to code, which will be an essential skill in the future.