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STEAM: More than just STEM

No, that isn’t a typo! STEAM is a variation of the commonly used acronym STEM. Let’s take a look at why the “A” matters!


What does the “A” stand for?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM includes art! Art is more than just painting and sculpting, but also innovation and design! From the device you are reading this on to other products you use, there is an element of innovation and design that interacts with STEM related elements.


Why Art?

Art can bring a level of creativity and self expression into view that encourages students to think outside of the box. Art also allows students to bring together principles they learn in STEM focused classes in order to create something new.


Collaboration Between Art and the Sciences

Still skeptical of the bridge between art and STEM? Here are a few careers that utilize the bridge between the two fields to make an impact.

  • Architect: Architects are responsible for designing new buildings. It requires both engineering principles so that the building can realistically be built and used but also design principles to fit specifications.

  • Animator: Being an animator may seem like it’s just about the art of creating a scene or a new character, but they need to use highly technical software technology to make it all possible.

  • Interior Designer: Laying out a room is as much about the presentation and style of the room as it also is about measurements and calculations to ensure the pieces fit. Custom designs and pieces can also require software modeling.


What is a Makerspace?

A Makerspace is a collaborative learning space that can be found in schools, libraries or even as their own standalone buildings. These spaces are great for teams to get together and work on projects with access to various tools and working space. Team could have access to 3D printers, laser cutters or just the basic tools like cardboard and glue to build a basic model.


These spaces are popping up more and more as people are looking for spaces to let their creative ideas flow out into a real product! This is a great example of art mixing with STEM. For example, let's say you are building a new device. You have your software engineer who has created the program that people will use. But how does the device itself get made? A maker space is a great location for the team to get together and develop even the most basic model of what the final device will look like!


If your kids have access to these types of spaces it would be a great way for them to learn more about STEAM and create amazing projects from the ground up.


Kitchen Science STEAM Series

In partnership with iCook After School, we hosted a free summer camp for kids that focused on STEAM in the kitchen! We learned STEAM topics which included making butter and how mixtures work as well as why apples turn brown after being cut and how we can alter that process.

To check out the classes you can head on over to the iCook YouTube page to see what we were up to!



Sources:

When STEM Becomes STEAM, We Can Change The Game- Forbes

STEAM vs. STEM: Why we need to put the arts into STEM education. - Slate

STEAM Careers for the 21st Century - Education Closet



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