Budget cuts are quite the headache for a school district – too often, the subjects that get the axe fall under the overarching umbrella term of Art. While the science departments are boosted, the arts have been seen as slowly declining. But that’s where STEAM education steps in. “Not just because arts are in it, but because they truly are in it. There's no engineer that doesn't take into account design, and why not go ahead and label it what it is.” Kristen Moore, the art teacher at the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics in Georgia, can be quoted as saying.
That’s what makes the addition of Art in the original STEM curriculum so natural – kids are already playing with their creativity in science. By designing robots, recognizing patterns in math, all of these skills are then heightened with the addition of Art. Furthermore, instead of developing skills in a strict curriculum, the addition of Art allows kids to explore and understand that overlap between literary and more scientific subjects is both natural and beneficial to all disciplines.
A highly positive aspect of STEAM is the amount of preparation kids acquire along the way in regards to careers. Recently in Detroit, TechShop, a do-it-yourself workshop, has begun implementing STEAM education initiatives. What they’ve noticed during this initiative is that kids are geared to learn about the respective machinery for 3D printing, laser cutting, and more. They latch onto and have little problem creating with the machinery – it seems to boil down to the fact that being exposed to these new available technologies is all kids need to get fully involved and start learning.
This predisposition of kids to interact and learn new technology is why interactive learning is so important, and opens up so many doors. Instead of limiting the amount of technology kids are allowed to use, letting them understand the capabilities past just watching TV shows gives them a window into other activities and topics they may not have touched before. Furthermore, allowing kids to practice with new, cutting-edge machinery like aforementioned 3D printers, gives them a leg up in increasingly competitive industries.
Plus, it’s fun to create your own products!
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