Education needs evolution. Today’s students being the tomorrows of the world need to evolve and adapt to the challenges they encounter in the real world. The traditional education system has only focused on making the students memorize the textbook knowledge, which was usually spoon-fed to them by their particular subject teachers. This flawed system has only provided an unintegrated syllabus with no proper outcomes, which led to many people’s suffering. They couldn’t resolve the real-world challenges posed to them which made them unfit through ‘qualified’ to the demands of the world.
It is in this context where a well-researched learning system such as STEAM becomes relevant. Focusing on the children’s needs, STEAM provides an integrated learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The addition of arts in it makes it more pertinent to the growing global demands of the world as it aids the students to think from multiple perspectives. However, do not confuse STEAM with STEM as STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. A STEM curriculum combines these four subjects into a blended learning environment. Students, through the curriculum, learn the scientific method and apply it to their everyday life. Educators particularly created STEM for the development of the science and tech industries. However, the curriculum doesn’t aid in the creative development of the students. Here comes the relevance of STEAM. STEAM adds arts, mainly manual art, fine art, social art, and physical art, into its program and helps in the holistic development of the students aiding in their creative and cognitive development. It sparks a child’s curiosity and helps them think out of the box when finding a solution. The STEAM field also enhances students’ communicative skills and empathy towards others, thereby aiding in their overall development.
STEAM is an educational framework that brings reality into the classroom. It makes a student more adept for the rapidly changing needs of the world. It also integrates various subjects for easy comprehensibility among students. It works on the principle of trial and error method wherein students find the most suitable solution to a problem based on the insights they gain from several reiterations. Thus, STEAM is both artistic and mathematical; it helps in the development of both the side of the brain.
The STEAM movement originated at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and has since been widely adopted among many institutions and organizations. The objectives of the STEAM movement were created to do the following:
- Transform research policy to place art and design at the center of STEM
- Encourage integration of art and design in education.
- Influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.
Thus, STEAM provides a student with the necessary tools and methods to explore new and creative ways of problem-solving, displaying data, innovation, and linking multiple fields. Implementing STEAM principles into education allows for more understanding, innovation, and a cohesive education in the classroom.
Studies have shown a very evident difference in students before and after STEAM education. Students who struggled to memorize in the traditional educational system became curious and innovative, overcoming the challenges posed against them by self-designed aids of thought. STEAM’s efficiency is thus revealed to the world.
Daring students to be wrong, listening to others’ opinions, trying many different ideas, creating solutions based on real-life problems, and all the more training the students to develop the necessary skills by themselves in the ever-changing world is the foundation for STEAM educational approach.
In conclusion, STEAM studies aim to provide innovative and critical thinking through the interpretation of science and technology by engineering and arts, based on a language of mathematics. Thus, STEAM studies make a student more creative, experimental, innovative, and different making them more suitable and adept citizens of the world.