In today’s society, well-rounded professionals are being sought out in the workplace that have foundational skills incorporating many different skill sets. Whether that be analytical, critical thinkers or creative collaborators, these ideal skills are keys to success in all career fields. The same could be said for education; why wouldn’t we want to immerse our young scholars into different areas of knowledge to learn skills and strengths that will prepare them for our innovative world?
STEM Education is often referred to as the collective curricula of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. These largely emerging industries are booming as our society becomes increasingly dependent on the continuous advancement of technology. According to Pew Research Center, the growth in STEM-related job opportunities has increased dramatically by 79% since 1990. By introducing students to these fields early on in their educational careers, students can find their niche earlier than expected. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is typically associated with analytical, critical thinking skills that help guide a systematic and logical way of thinking. However, what if we took this STEM Education a step further by incorporating more creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills?
STEAM Education allows for students to have the foundational critical thinking skills from the incorporation of STEM education, while also integrating visual arts, humanities, performing arts, design, and so much more! Let’s break down what a STEAM education entails a bit further –
Why Is STEAM Education Important?
- It prepares students for the 21st century workforce: In today’s economy, many jobs require skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as creativity and innovation (the “A” in STEAM). STEAM education helps students develop these skills and prepares them for a wide range of careers in fields such as engineering, architecture, computer science, healthcare, and the arts.
- It fosters creativity and innovation: STEAM education encourages students to think creatively and to approach problems in new and innovative ways. By integrating the arts into STEM education, students are encouraged to think outside the box and to explore different perspectives and approaches.
- It supports critical thinking and problem-solving: STEAM education emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning that requires students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By working on real-world problems, students learn how to analyze complex information, identify patterns, and develop solutions.
- It promotes collaboration and communication: In a STEAM classroom, students work together in teams to design, build, and test their ideas. This collaboration helps students develop communication and teamwork skills, which are essential in the workplace.
- It helps address the STEM skills gap: There is currently a shortage of workers with STEM skills, and this gap is expected to grow in the coming years. By promoting STEAM education, we can help address this gap and ensure that our future workforce is equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
What Are the Benefit of a STEAM Education?
- Develops critical thinking skills: STEAM education fosters critical thinking skills by encouraging students to ask questions, identify problems, and develop solutions. This approach helps students to become better problem solvers and to think more critically and analytically.
- Encourages creativity and innovation: The arts are an integral part of STEAM education, and they help to foster creativity and innovation. By incorporating artistic elements into STEM subjects, students are encouraged to think outside the box and develop new and innovative ideas.
- Promotes teamwork and collaboration: STEAM education emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, which helps students to develop interpersonal skills and to work more effectively with others. This is an important skill set in both academic and professional environments.
- Provides hands-on learning experiences: STEAM education provides students with hands-on learning experiences that are both engaging and memorable. This approach helps students to retain information and to better understand complex concepts.
- Prepares students for the 21st century workforce: STEAM education prepares students for the demands of the modern workforce by equipping them with skills that are in high demand, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and communication.
- Addresses the skills gap in STEM fields: There is currently a shortage of workers with STEM skills, and this gap is expected to grow in the coming years. STEAM education helps to address this gap by preparing students to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Overall, STEAM education provides numerous benefits that can help to prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce while also addressing societal needs in STEM fields.
Why the Arts Make a Difference.
The arts encourage creativity and innovation by fostering creativity and innovation, and when integrated into STEM education, they encourage students to think outside the box and to develop new and innovative ideas. The arts enhance problem-solving skills by requiring sudents to approach problems in a different way than STEM subjects do. By incorporating art into STEM, students can develop their problem-solving skills from multiple perspectives and can apply creative thinking to real-world problems. By allowing a classroom to be dynamic, yet complex, the STEAM approach acts as “access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.” A study from 2014 highlights how the integration of STEAM in the classroom allows for more “cognitive development, increased literacy and math skills and helps students reflect meaningfully on their work.” Adding art to STEM education creates a more comprehensive and well-rounded approach to education that can help students develop a range of skills and competencies essential for success in the 21st century.
How We Incorporate STEAM At PALCS
PALCS believes that STEAM education is critical for preparing students for the future and that it provides students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. PALCS integrates the arts into STEM subjects through project-based learning and other innovative teaching methods, which helps students to develop creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. PALCS offers a variety of STEAM courses, such as robotics, game design, and digital media, as well as extracurricular activities that encourage students to explore their interests and passions in these areas. Our programs, such as the Center for Performing and Fine Arts (CPFA), Professional Studies Program (PSP), and University Scholars Program (USP), all incorporate STEAM education. If you are looking for an online learning atmosphere that is engaging, creative, and innovative, join over 3,000+ students thriving and growing through PALCS education and programs now!