STEM education provides many opportunities and challenges. How can our practice evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century learners?

STEM is now STEAM?

Kevin Crosby Educator and School Counselor / Trinidad School District #1

I'm told STEM is now STEAM (A for the Arts). I wonder how this came about. Any thoughts on how this will shift the focus?

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Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

STEM is Now STEAM

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It depends on how you want to approach it. The possibilities are extensive and broad and really only limited by your imagination. I would imagine that if there is not a fully developed art program at your school, that more arts could be integrated into the STEM.

The key is that the arts are suffering in many schools and when the big hype began over STEM, it wasn't long before the art teachers began to say, "Hey, what about us?!" and for good reason. I could go into the entire concept, and how various approaches could be implemented, but then I'd end up writing a paper and this comment section isn't the place to do it.

STEM into STEAM

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We're looking into this for our school. I'm finding that there are many ways to tie science and visual design together. It'll be a fascinating journey!

High school english teacher and blogger.

Laudable, but...

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In all things education, aren't communication, language, and literacy more pressing focal points? The exception may be technology, which also underscores every discipline. Not much else can get done unless students are willing and able to read. : /

I fully appreciate that we want students to be at the "top", internationally. I just fear that this new "push" is largely competitive and not necessarily (with the exception of technology) in the best interest of students.

Not sure.

I am in search of definitions for "Quality Eduction" and "Great School".

STEAM Integrated in all courses

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Math and Language Arts are tools.
Science, being derived from the root for knowledge, is a methodology for acquiring,evaluating and applying knowledge. So, science doesn't have to be physical sciences. Math and Language skills are required first.
Technology is using tools. The tools change dramtically over 12 years. So, what is really learned is how to deal with "Change."
Engineering is creating technology. Learning to apply knowledge to problem solving :ie engineering solutions. Again, not just physical machines are engineered .. any-thing can be.
Art are the products or "artifacts" of our cultural expression. The highest order learning. We learn how to dream and express those dreams.
STEAM is a great idea if every course/class is on board with integrating STEAM into all that is done.

middle school instrumental music / music technology

As an "arts" teacher (music),

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As an "arts" teacher (music), we usually feel as if we're on the outside looking in with the STEM movement, yet, it is very clear from the multitude of studies and research that the arts contribute so much to the development of the child, serving as the bridge between so many disciplines, and allowing the student to engage his/her mind and thought process in a totally different way from the core disciplines. Many of the students on our 8th grade STEM team take our elective in Electronic Music Technology which includes the obvious tech tools which are then used for analysis, sound editing and creating, and composing.

Those things, communication,

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In response to MINDY::::Those things, communication, language, and literacy are all part of it as well. Like you said, you can't do much else if you can't read. Everything should be taught cross curricularly anyway so naturally you would find these things embedded within STEAM. In my opinion, the arts aspect of STEAM should not just include the visual arts, but also the performing arts and language arts both of which include all that you were just talking about. Kids need STEAM and it can be done as early as kindergarten, maybe even sooner. Kids need to to learn to be problem solvers in our world, especially with the way things are going these days. STEAM does that. DOne right, you can address some real world, pressing issues with kids and then they actually learn how to go about changing the worldin a positive, realistic way. Sorry...I feel very strongly about this.

High school english teacher and blogger.

Acronyms

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I agree Darea! The arts curricula should include performing arts (<--Theatre educator, here!). Maybe it's the packaging of this acronym that bugs me. Other than the fact that it's nifty and memorable, if literacy were included in it (or reading--hah: STEAMR), what we'd have is a very nice acronym for an all-inclusive curriculum. Thus, any focus for a movement is lost in the inclusions.

I guess it's just a helpful mnemonic. In those classes that are not Math or Engineering or Science,specifically, we should still make sure that, somehow, the *type* of thinking used in SEM is addressed and the type of thinking of A and R, and the tools of T. That can be done in a Theatre Arts classroom, so I'm guessing it can be done in Language arts and others, too. : )

Technology Education University Lecturer from Australia

STEM or STEAM.....or let's

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STEM or STEAM.....or let's open the doors to all disciplines. I personally think the reason why STEM has gained traction is that we are beginning to realise that the educational model of silo-ing disciplines isn't working that well. As a result, models of transdisciplinary education like STEM are more contextualised and makes knowledge more significant.

A word of caution for all of us to be aware of...is that if we offer STEM or STEAM models of education, then we need to ensure that all of these disciplines are integrated otherwise we ill suffer from 'curriculum skew'. An example of this is when you look into a number of STEM initiatives, they only really offer the SCIENCE strand and don't link this to the other disciplines. This concerns me because I see science as science and STEM as a integrated model...I guess a cause for watching this space.

NBCT, science educator

I don't know where I read,

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I don't know where I read, but from what I understand the idea behind the A in STEAM was to promote creativity, innovation, intellectually risk taking not associated with traditional STEM programs. I'm not sure if this is true. I was also read in article in Fortune addressing the idea that creativity cannot be taught. So what do we do as educators to promote this valuable skill?

Founder, Director of SuperScience for High School Physics

Dear Mario: I would sure like

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Dear Mario:

I would sure like to know where you read in Fortune that creativity can't be taught. As arguably one of the most creative individuals around, I teach creativity, and I'm preparing seminars on that subject for corporations and Chief Innovation Officers. I dare say that if anyone says that creativity can't be taught, they know little or nothing about true creativity...

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