Everybody in the education system has heard of STEM learning. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the core foundations of learning that enable children to learn about all manner of subjects and topics that educating with skills that will benefit them and the global workforce in later life. Recently, STEM was changed to STEAM, with the addition of the Arts subject, a move used to entice more students into joining STEAM learning programs.
But is STEAM education so important today and why should it be implemented in learning institutions around the world?
According to the US Department of Education figures, the number of STEAM related jobs, in the USA, will increase by 14% in this decade (2010-2020). This figure is averagely around 5-8% larger than all the other job sectors.
But What Are STEAM Jobs?
This is the term given to jobs that, primarily, revolve around the technology industry and future development businesses. Some of these roles include engineers, software developers, practitioners, researchers, technicians, economists and jobs to similar to these.
Tabitha Hunt, a professor and community moderator of Paper Fellows explains, “STEAM jobs are as important for the future as the individuals in these roles are responsible for developing new technologies that will effectively progress society and humanity. Developing technologies and sciences will always come face to face with problems and obstacles before they get to a perfected state. These industries need educated people who can face these problems.”
Recent studies show that computer programming jobs and IT-related roles are among some of the hardest vacancies to currently fill. In fact, the most popular college and university course are not STEAM related at all. When referring to the figures, they show that the number of graduates in STEAM courses is only increasing by an average 0.8% per year.
This is why the Arts program was implemented to create STEAM education. This inclusion helps to make STEM lessons appear a lot more approachable. Imagine being a child who has never seen a line of computer code before and now try explaining that concept to them. I think you’ll agree that it’s near on impossible. Students, especially younger students, need to be engaged in learning and stimulated. By including arts in the program, children and young students can relate to something they know, such as videos and other multimedia, which can then be used to teach them aspects of computer programming or other STEAM related topics.
So, What Does STEAM Teach?
At a classroom level, STEAM education helps to teach students the skills needed to successfully fill the job roles of the future. Kerry Woods, an educator from Academized explains, “STEAM education is important as the job roles of the future mean that these students will be coming face to face issues and obstacles that will stand in the way of progress. Whether it’s a code fault in a piece of software, a design fault in a product or a concept that is missing the crucial ideas to move it forward, STEAM education helps to develop skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will enable these students to tackle these problems head on in an efficient and productive way, enabling them to produce results.”
STEAM Education is Important
As you can see, humanity is soon going to become reliant on STEAM related jobs, otherwise, the rate of productivity and the rate of progress will begin to decrease and will maybe even halt altogether. By implemented STEAM education at a young age, even if it’s just the techniques, we can start to prepare these younger students for developments later in life that will, hopefully, create a better world for everybody.