STEM education is what most schools nowadays use to guide their students in learning the core subjects in life. It helps to integrate and apply knowledge of math and science in order to create technologies and solutions for real-world problems, using an engineering design approach. Although this system is proved to be efficient and work well, students are missing out on the art piece of their education. While many people argue that STEM lesions naturally involve art, the claim is that art is not being excluded yet it is being used incidentally as needed for engineering projects. By adding art into the core, by changing STEM to STEAM, students will not only know how to create art but will know how to apply art in real-life scenarios.
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Art can be integrated with various ways such as design and expression. In a 2017 article published by the National Science Teachers Association, students were challenged with the task of doing research on the endangered sea turtles around the globe, and deciding what format to present their findings on (Quigley). The students were also obligated to work together to create a sea turtle model for World Oceans Day at Greenville Zoo, which incorporates art by design. The students had a 200$ budget on all the wood, mesh, paint, and other supplies needed to complete the project. This caused the students to experience a lesson in creating a sculpture within the parameters and with a deadline that can be applied in the real world. Art as expression is also displayed within the same lesson. The zoo did not set any specific requirements for the project so the students are encouraged to get creative with the sculpture.
Students today need more in-depth knowledge of math and science. STEM education has been the best way to provide that knowledge since the early 2000s. It allows students to develop skills that are essential for most if not all jobs in the 21st century. Through lessons that focus on communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, students learn how to integrate and apply the knowledge they learn into solving challenges that face our nation today. A 2014 study published by the America Society for Engineering Education identified characteristics of quality in STEM programs with the big one being that understudies have the opportunity to think fundamentally, inventively, and imaginatively, as well as opportunities to fail and try again in safe conditions (America Society for Engineering Education 3). STEM, at that point, is a particular program intended for a particular reason—to coordinate and apply information on math and science so as to make advances and answers for genuine issues, utilizing a building configuration approach. It's nothing unexpected that STEM programs need to keep up an intense core interest.
While the STEM program has proven time and time again to be an efficient and well-working system of education, it does not apply all of the core subjects. Art is something that is lacking in today’s world and is in high demand. By adding art into STEM through the aspects of design, performing arts, and creative planning, students can learn and progress their artistic abilities which in return will teach them the skills needed for a real-world job. STEM is just one part of a student’s education which focuses its core on math and science. What is really needed is a well-rounded education that will allow students to make informed decisions that will affect the world.
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One of the main benefits that come along with STEAM is that it fosters the openness of ideas rather than following the classroom standards. Standardization uniforms students which does not allow them to show their individuality. Without creativity, the world would be a boring place. With that being said, the need for early childhood exposure to STEAM is at an all-time high. As claimed by Nancy DeJarnette, “exposing children to STEAM disciplines during the elementary years through hands-on, interactive, and problem-solving activities, research indicates that children's interest in STEM career fields increases, establishing an educational pathway for the future” (DeJarnette 2). As the United States is suffering from a lack of high school graduates entering into STEM job fields. Therefore, by integrating art into the STEM system, teachers can build a curriculum that enhances student engagement and learning. In return, this will unleash the student’s capability to be creative and think critically.
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