When reading about STEM, you’ve probably seen the acronym STEAM too. This is because of growing support the inclusion of art in STEM learning. This led to quite the debate.The government put more of a focus on STEM subjects after it was identified that there was a skills shortage in these areas in the UK. Studies have shown that students who study STEM subjects develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, and that STEM’s value is in using maths and science to address real-life problems.
Adding the arts to STEM can make learning fun, and there’s more scope for creativity and thinking outside of the box. For the people who worry that focusing on creativity will mean less time learning the principles of science and maths, they shouldn’t be concerned. STEAM is about thinking creatively about STEM projects, and getting children to use their imagination to create something or solve a problem. Think using a computer to design a logo or graphics for a project, or drawing a design of a structure or model a child wants to build.
The need for an all-round education
To do well in life and in the world of work, children need a varied and well-rounded education, that includes both STEM subjects and the arts. These have been kept separate for so long in the curriculum, but really, they’re integrated with each other already. If you think you can’t be an engineer and be creative, look at some of the amazing buildings, bridges, and other structures around you. If you think an artist lacks technical skills, look at graphic designers and animators and their amazing creations. This is STEAM in action in the real world. Being able to apply knowledge to the real world is essential in life and for a successful career.
No doubt the STEM versus STEAM debate will carry on, but we shouldn’t forget that the most important thing is educating children in a way that will give them the best possible chance of a bright future, whether they want to be an engineer or an artist.
At Bricks 4 Kidz, our passion is helping children have fun, play, and learn with Lego. Our workshops and after school clubs help children to develop their problem-solving skills, creativity, imagination, and so much more.
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