STEAM: What It Is and Why It’s Important
Learning is about understanding how to combine knowledge from different subjects. Being mixed in nature, there are certain school programs that try to give students a well rounded education. One such program is STEAM. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the different fields in STEAM and how they combine with one another.
What is STEAM?
Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEAM aims to teach these subjects using an combined approach. It set out to teach students:
- Invention of new things
- Critical Thinking
- Working Together
- Imaginative or Creative approaches
- Real-world application
Rarely does one job require one skill set. Setting up students for real-world problems, STEAM enforces that these subjects do not work on their own. Instead, their knowledge must be combined in order to find a solution.
Through this program, students learn beyond just memorising facts. Knowing how to intake and understand information is an important part of existing in the real world. Firstly, they are exposed to the scientific method. Then, how to explore the science behind the story.
STEAM supports the 4 C’s on modern education:
- Critical Thinking
But, what are the individual subjects that work together to achieve this whole? Let’s have a look!
S is for Science
Coming from the Latin for “knowledge”, Science is a subject that builds and organises knowledge. They do this through testing and predicting explanations about the universe. Its earliest roots can be traced to Ancient Egypt around 3000 to 1200 BC.
Modern science is divided into 2 major branches:
- natural sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) which study nature
- social sciences (economics, psychology, and sociology) which study individuals and societies
Advanced by research, Science is motivated by curiosity about the world and the desire to solve problems.
The T is STEAM is for Technology
Meaning “science of craft” in Greek, technology is the use of techniques, skills, methods. As well as, the processes used in the production of goods and services. Or additionally, in the accomplishment of objectives and investigations.
Simply, technology is the development and use of basic tools. Thus, the invention of equipment and machines has lead to the control of fire, the collecting of more food, and controlling the environment. Developing on from here was the birth of the printing press, telephone, and Internet.
Most importantly, technology helps to lessen the physical barriers of communication and encouraged global interaction.
E is for Engineering
In the middle of STEAM is Engineering. Using scientific rules, this subject concerns itself with design and building machines, structures, bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. Coming from Latin, it means “cleverness” and “devising”.
There are four main branches of Engineering:
- Chemical Engineering which applies science in order to carry out chemical processes on a commercial scale
- Civil Engineering which is the design and construction of public and private works
- Electrical Engineering which is the design, study, and manufacture of electronics
- Mechanical Engineering which is design and manufacture of machines such as power systems, aircraft, and vacuum cleaners
The A in STEAM is for Arts
The arts uses creativity, imagination, and practical skills to produce objects, environments, and experiences. Serving as a vessel for storytelling, this subject thus helps to convey humankind’s relationship with the environment.
Major areas of art include:
- Visual Arts: Architecture, Ceramics, Drawing, Filmmaking, Painting, Photography, and Sculpting
- Literary Arts: Fiction, Drama, Poetry, and Prose
- Performing Arts: Dance, Music, and Theatre
- Culinary Arts: Cooking, Baking, Chocolate and Wine Making
The Arts are a fundamental part of STEAM because they encourage self-expression and build confidence. Therefore creating a sense of individual identity. What’s more, it is an excellent stress reliever. While also, developing critical thinking skills and the ability to interpret the world around us.
M is for Mathematics
This last STEAM subject get its name from the Greek for “knowledge, study” and “learning”. Looking for and using pattern to plan new explanations, Maths aims to prove or falsify these ideas using mathematical proof.
Mathematics exists in many fields including science, engineering, and medicine. Applied mathematics has lead to new fields of study such as statics and game theory. What’s more, Maths finds itself in art in the golden ratio: a visual of the Fibonacci sequence.