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What is STEAM? A quick guide for parents

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What is STEAM? Or perhaps you’ve seen the term STEM, or maybe both terms are brand new to you. The idea of STEAM, or STEM, has been gaining a lot of attention in recent years, especially for teachers looking for effective, as well as meaningful, ways to connect with and engage children.  

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math; alternatively, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. What is unique about STEAM is that it embraces teaching skills of these subject topics in a manner that resembles real life. 

The key component of STEAM is integration highlighting the importance of STEAM education. Instead of teaching subject topics individually, lessons are project based, focusing on the concept of interdisciplinary learning. STEAM prepares children to learn problem solving skills in everyday life that will carry over into future jobs and careers. 

You might be wondering why the alternative to STEAM does not feature an “A” for arts. The addition of arts to create STEAM is about incorporating creative thinking and applied arts in real situations. Art may seem unnecessary to some, but it is about discovering and creating new ways of problem solving, integrating principles, or presenting information. Whether you prefer STEM or STEAM, the underlying principles and practices are the same.  

Simply put, STEAM reflects real life. Real world jobs are interdisciplinary, and STEAM helps teach children how subjects integrate and work together. The idea behind STEAM is to learn how to think critically and evaluate information; how to apply knowledge, research, and skills to solve problems. STEAM helps to foster a love of learning in children with its adaptable framework to suit children’s needs. And the best way to foster a love of learning through STEAM is to encourage curiosity.  

STEAM education will help children become innovative adults with exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills will help our future generations in such a technology driven world. Check out some books from the library that are filled with fun STEAM projects today!