We’ve all heard a lot about STEM education in the past few years.
As the US has fallen behind many other countries in mathematics and sciences, and as we continue to move towards a more and more technological society, a push to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to students in an integrated manner has occurred.
However, recently many proponents of STEM have realized that something is missing. Thus, STEAM is, well, picking up steam.
If you’ve heard of STEAM, but are unsure of what it is or why you, as the parent of a young child, should even care, read on.
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. As you can see, only one subject area has been added, and at first glance, it appears rather unlike the others. However, Art is the missing piece that incorporates creative thinking and innovation into the equation.
Who Uses STEAM?
Schools nation-wide (and world-wide) are adopting STEAM curricula. Many start in elementary school, but there is a bigger focus on STEAM in the upper grades.
Why should you start using STEAM?
With more jobs than ever requiring knowledge in one or more of these areas, it is crucial that STEAM education begin early and continue through formal education. Although many schools have adopted a STEAM curriculum in high school, ideally the education will begin much sooner than that.
By introducing STEAM concepts in the formative early years, children have a better chance to hone their interests in all subject areas, making it more likely that they’ll choose to pursue a STEAM education and career in the future.
When should you start using STEAM?
Now! It’s never too early to begin incorporating STEAM into your child’s life. While it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s actually quite simple to start teaching your child STEAM concepts.
Where can you find resources for home use?
Encouraging a Love of STEAM in Preschoolers has some great ideas for incorporating STEAM into your everyday life, as well as a resource list of books for both you and your child.
Visit Handmade Kids Art to participate in a free 6-week STEAM Preschool Course.
The Preschool STEAM blog is full of activities you can do with your child.
If you like getting hands-on with your kids, try this Scribbling Machine activity from NAEYC.
For 25 colorful STEAM projects, check out Babble Dabble Do.