STEAM and STEM Education and Why We Need Them
STEAM vs STEM: Specifics and Differences
Today it is not enough only to know how to read, write and count. To become a competitive specialist, young people have to be knowledgeable in different fields and be able to combine various skills. From that, there comes a question which education system – STEAM or STEM – is better to achieve this goal.
What is the difference between those two, you may ask? Well, let’s start with STEM.
- STEM represents science, technology, engineering, and maths
- It is mostly focused on scientific concepts
- STEM is teaching skills the way they are going to be used in real life
- STEM teaches children how to be interdisciplinary and develop critical thinking along with the ability to evaluate information
- STEM is about how to apply knowledge and research in order to solve a problem
In its turn, STEAM is not that much different from STEM. It stands for the same science, technology, engineering and maths. The only thing that makes the difference between those two is Arts in STEAM which includes humanities, language, dance and drama, music, any visual arts, design, etc. To sum up,
- STEAM represents science, technology, engineering, and maths along with arts
- STEAM also investigates scientific concepts just like STEM, but unlike STEM, it is more focused on research and problem-based methods of learning that are usually used in the creative process
- It teaches the students how to learn and solve the problems creatively
Are There Any Problems About STEAM and STEM?
Both education programs are not new. We already know famous scientists and artists who used combined ways of learning (just remember Leonardo da Vinci!). In modern society, it is also an essential part of a career and job. Most of the jobs nowadays require us to possess several skills and be able to use them all together in order to perform our tasks.
However, the main problem that both STEAM and STEM may meet is that many teachers struggle with them. For quite many educators it is better to use old and well-known ways of learning, besides, STEM education requires a lot of resources for example. Funding for the technologies, learning how to use them and creating a working and efficient scheme of how to apply it as a learning tool – this is what turns teachers against the new methods of studying.
What can be said in the protection of these innovative methods of learning is that both STEAM and STEM will help the young generation to grow up into innovative and future-oriented adults with exceptional critical thinking skills and the ability to solve problems in a creative way.
To help that become truth, parents can encourage their children to be curious, to ask questions, to play and to investigate even if their interests change every week! It is important to help children to find what they are passionate about and support and encourage them on the way of chasing their passions! When being passionate about something, children can go really far in learning!