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STEAM + Entrepreneurship

The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. John Lasseter

Presently, science and math “SM” are fully integrated in the K-12 education almost worldwide while engineering and technology or “ET” component is missing from the STEM core curricula for K-12 courses. In fact, another pre-existing component in K-12 education, art “A,” should also be strongly integrated into STEM curricula for enrichment and elevation to STEAM education.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM) education and “probably beyond” is an applied and experimental approach that has gained reputation in education environments. For STEAM infuses modern society requires the innovations that STEAM can bring about so as to advance. STEAM learning build logical bridges between its various fields of study.  It is about relating all those elements to the real world and kindling passion. Georgette Yakman, who developed STEAM in 2006, describes the concept as “providing an avenue for formally teaching the inter-relationships of how subjects relate in real-life. The STEAM framework and developing model of education can be paraphrased in the following definition: “science and technology, interpreted through engineering and the arts, all based in a language of mathematics.” Letter “A” stands for all liberal art studies including social studies, language, physical, musical, fine, and performing.

 Cornerstone elements of STEAM education are identical to those which have remained tried-and-true within the Montessori Method for over 100 years. These include hands-on, personalized, project-based learning, inquiry-based, child-centered, and experiential instruction. STEAM approach is a natural extension of the Montessori cosmic curriculum which provides both inspiration and instruction. Children then engage in hands-on inquiry based activities which allow them to build on the concepts and skills they have learned. STEAM and Montessori are highly matching, with their emphasis on the child determining what he learns through hands-on experimentation. Children in the early age as well as in lower elementary classrooms are sensorimotor explorers, meaning they learn better by moving and using all their senses. 

 The Montessori environment is a wonderful fit for integrating subject areas. Within the mathematics curriculum the children are introduced to many subject areas, often at the same time. There are projects which incorporate history, the arts, language, and writing skills. The children also work on designing, creating, and testing out prototypes, which combines the arts, mathematics, and engineering. The curriculum is full of opportunities to blend subjects and to create an environment where subjects fit together naturally.

The idea of adding the arts to STEM education has been gaining momentum.  STEAM is not about simply "adding" arts to the equation or utilizing certain elements of art (visual art and design) in a lesson. Art, including social studies and business, can be seen as a way of offering more diverse learning opportunities and greater access to STEM for all types of learners. Art also provides diverse opportunities for creative thinking, representation, emotion, communication, expression, and leadership. Art education is often project-based and a closer representation of real-life. The rationale for STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations. In fact, the idea of STEAM is a mindset, and that is one that expands with ideas and opportunity.

 

 

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