You have probably heard of STEM education before — a program made to encourage learning and participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The initiative was created not too long ago, and yet things have already changed, and STEM has evolved into STEAM. It can be hard to keep up when you just want to do the best for your kids, but if you live near Ashburn, you have SciGenius on your side. We are a dedicated STEAM education program created to help your kids learn and thrive, with a range of programs including in-school enrichment, after-school programs, summer camps, and even private events. Keep reading to learn more about the inception of STEAM education and explore our site today to find the perfect program for your child!
What is STEM?
STEM, as we mentioned, is a program focused on the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. However, it’s not meant to focus exclusively on those subjects. There is a lot to the STEM program that you probably never knew.
How It Started
The STEM education movement was spearheaded by President Barack Obama during his presidency, and began as an outline for teaching kids the skills they will need in the future. The United States has been a leader in the fields of science and technology before, but interest and experience in those fields among kids is waning. There have been a few reasons why that have been identified, and the STEM program was created to address those factors.
STEM was created for a few reasons. One major goal was to prepare kids to meet projected needs in STEM fields, and encourage more of them to fill science and technology jobs in the future. Studies show that STEM industries are quickly growing, and there simply isn’t a large enough qualified workforce to fill those jobs. Aside from that, the STEM initiative was also intended to give kids the resources they need to explore their passions in science and technology. Many schools don’t have enough staff, enough qualified staff, or both, so Obama’s program was created to help them get support they need to encourage kids to explore STEM subjects.
Additionally, the STEM education movement encourages a change in how we teach these subjects. We probably have all sat in a math class and wondered when we’ll ever need calculus in real life, and if you have kids, you’ve probably heard them make a similar complaint. One major intention behind STEM is to teach science, technology, engineering, and math as more integrated subjects, so students can better understand how these subjects overlap and relate to everyday life. It’s a principle that has carried through to the STEAM education movement as well.
What is STEAM?
STEAM is not a dramatic shift from STEM. Instead, it’s more like a side step onto another, more inclusive path. The “A” stands for art, and it is not as incongruent as you might first think.
How It Started
The idea of STEAM began with the Rhode Island School of Design and has spread quickly across the country. After STEM was introduced, many educators and professionals thought that creativity was a key element missing from the original structure. With school resources often spread thin, many also felt that the increased focus on science and technology was at the expense of art programs.
Why Add “A”
Art and science may seem like disparate subjects, but in fact, design and technology overlap much of the time. Creativity is essential to innovation, and designers and scientists often go through similar problem-solving processes. Art can also offer an entry point to more technical fields for populations that have been historically ignored or discouraged from participating, such as girls or African American kids. Adding art to the STEM program isn’t a leap, but rather a simple step forward.
STEAM education continues with much of the principles behind STEM, particularly the idea that these important subjects should be taught in an integrated and applied way. Art and design can help foster a true understanding of science and technology, encourage curiosity, and give students the tools they need to think innovatively. With a STEAM education program, your child will develop many skills, including:
Get Started Today
Encouraging your kids to be well-rounded and pursue their passions isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to more complex subjects like coding. SciGenius is here to help you tackle that challenge. We offer programs for all kinds of subjects, from animation and play writing to robotics for kids. We also offer resources to encourage your child to keep exploring at home, with new scientific experiments for kids posted every month that are safe and easy to do in any kitchen or backyard. We give you all the instructions you need, plus simple explanations of the science involved in each experiment. What are you waiting for? Try an experiment with your own little SciGenius today and tell us how it went on social media!
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