STEM v. STEAM...We choose STEAM!
STEM, an acronym standing for the blended application of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is a commonly recognized approach for hands-on, connected learning in modern education. It is critical that our formal and informal education systems create opportunities for students to connect with STEM.
"[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world..."
— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015
With such a focus on STEM, where do the arts fall in this type of connected learning? Researchers, STEM enthusiasts, and educators recognize that the arts and STEM go hand-in-hand. For example, an architect certainly partners technology and art when drawing up plans for a new space. Or an anatomy student may draw diagrams as they learn the complexities of how the body's systems work in synchronicity. And just as much as you see the arts in STEM, STEM compliments the arts. Because of scientific processes like emulsion, arts like photography and screen printing come to life. Because of technological innovations, music is easier than ever to record and share on digital platforms.
Scientific American points out in Artists and Scientists: More Alike than Different that there is a clear bridge between art and science.
As we consider the ongoing discussion of STEM versus STEAM, we decided we are team STEAM! Tonight as we convene our network of educators, professionals, and STEM stakeholders at our
bi-annual Network Summit, we have a big announcement. Our South Suburban STEM Network is re-branding to include the arts! Ladies and gentlemen, we are excited to announce our network's new identity, the South Suburban STEAM Network!