We often are asked 'what's the difference between STEM and STEAM'... well, here's our answer to this burning, yet VERY important question.
Children in recent days have been urged to go back to basics through the “three Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic.
For educators, there is now a greater need for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) concepts to integrate with the arts (STEAM) across the wider curriculum.
We know this because business and industry broadcast that future-ready employees need to have multiple areas of expertise or at least appreciate how a range of skills fit together.
Teachers working in cross-curricular STEAM settings often see their students making connections between concepts and solving problems in new and exciting ways. They demonstrate this by active engagement, their discoveries visible in enthusiastic “aha” moments.
What’s the difference?
STEM represents science, technology, engineering and maths. “STEAM” represents STEM plus the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media.
The main difference between STEM and STEAM is STEM explicitly focuses on scientific concepts. STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process.
This looks like groups of learners working collaboratively to create a visually appealing product or object that is based in the understanding of a STEM concept, such as the mathematics of the parabola used to create fine art imagery.
STEAM is not a new concept. People such as Leonardo Da Vinci have shown us the importance of combining science and art to make discoveries.
Why is STEAM important?
STEAM education in schools provides students with the opportunity to learn creatively, using 21st century skills such as problem solving. Many business leaders highlight the importance of these skills for a future workplace. These general capabilities are crucial to growing a future-ready workforce that understands the potential of “what if” when solving problems that occur in real life.
They also point us in the direction of 22nd century skills – connection, care, community and culture.
This blog was taken from The Conversation; An independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.