It is likely that you have heard of STEM or STEAM education. They are essentially the same thing and they are making their way into classrooms across America. Whether you have a preschooler, grade or high schooler, you should know about STEAM education.
What is STEAM Education?
STEAM is a blend of five disciplines-Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STEAM is not a new concept but it has been gaining momentum in America’s classroom as we attempt to close the gaps in the workforce that exist between sexes, races, and other developing countries.
So what exactly is STEAM? Many know what the letters stand for but not what it is exactly. Simply put, STEAM education is a framework for teaching and is based on natural ways kids learn. It is used to find more meaningful ways to engage all students in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
Why does STEAM Education matter?
1.Growing in the workforce
STEAM careers are growing at almost double the rate of non-STEAM careers. This number could easily triple in the next 5-10 years. Through STEAM education we can truly prepare our kids to be successful in the workplace they will be entering.
2. It Ties All the Subjects Together
When you use a STEAM model you tying together all of the core subjects in an authentic way.
3. Prepares Students for College
Many college students report that they do not feel as if they were adequately prepared for their STEAM classes in college. It has also been reported that students with a STEAM education performed better on the SAT and ACT. These two tests are a traditional part of the admission process for colleges and universities in the United States. Furthermore, these students were required to take less remedial courses and performed better in college-level courses.
4. Promotes Inquiry
When delivered correctly, STEAM fosters inquiry in students resulting in a stronger desire to learn and a deeper understanding of the material.
5. Teaches Problem Solving And Critical Thinking Skills
When students are tasked to figure out problems and find solutions, they become better problem solvers and use a high level of critical thinking skills.
6. Helps to Break Stereotypes
There is a huge myth that is still floating around: Girls aren’t good at math.
This has led to a considerable gap between men and women in fields such as computer science and engineering.
~Women filled 47 percent of all U.S. jobs in 2015 but held only 24 percent of STEM jobs. Likewise, women constitute slightly more than half of the college-educated workers but make-up only 25 percent of college-educated STEM workers.
~Women with STEM jobs earned 35 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs — even higher than the 30 percent STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs. Women with STEM jobs also earned 40 percent more than men with non-STEM jobs.
~While nearly as many women hold undergraduate degrees as men overall, they make up only about 30 percent of all STEM degree holders. Women make up a disproportionately low share of degree holders in all STEM fields, particularly engineering.
~Women with STEM degrees are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation; they are more likely to work in education or healthcare.
As parents and educators, we have an opportunity to show our young girls that they are capable of being scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.
When we educate a girl we educate the world.