STEAM - The What and Why Explained

STEAM - The What and Why Explained

7 min read

What is STEAM ?

STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEAM represents STEM plus Art & Design. Through STEAM, students develop key skills including:

  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Critical Analysis
  • Teamwork & collaboration
  • Independent Thinking
  • Initiative
  • Communication
  • Digital Literacy
"Incorporating the A in STEAM, Art, brings in personal expression, empathy, meaning-making and the purpose of what you’re learning."
- Dr. Kristin Cook, Thought leader in STEAM-focused school reform.

Why is STEAM important?

Technology is rapidly advancing across the globe, and with it a huge change in career opportunities of the future. These advancements in technology are changing the way we work, learn, play and connect. Skills developed by students through STEAM courses better equip them with the foundation to succeed at school, their future studies, and careers. Across industries, we are seeing a demand for STEM qualifications, and this will continue to increase in the coming years. For children, early interaction and familiarity with STEAM topics and skills will empower them to succeed in the ever diversifying world.

While STEAM education has grown in popularity in recent years due to industry demand, it is not necessarily a new concept. Leonardo Da Vinci was a great practitioner of STEAM in his time, proving the importance of combining science and art in making wonderful discoveries and inventions.

Why is STEAM good for my kids?

  1. Creativity
    The A in STEAM stands for Art and Design. This ensures students are thinking about traditional topics such as Maths with an integration of Art. With this take, kids see that every subject can play into others and don’t need to be viewed and learned in separate boxes. The best Scientists, Engineers and Programmers are those who are capable of being creative and inventive with their knowledge. Creativity might be perceived as a skill that comes naturally to certain children, but it’s actually one that can be fostered by a well-rounded STEAM education.

  2. Developing a Growth Mindset
    Individuals who believe that their talents can be developed, through hard work, good strategies, and input from others have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset, those who believe their talents are innate gifts.

    Studies show that children with a Growth Mindset develop into more successful individuals. They have the persistence and grit to see out a project and are resilient in the face of failure.

    Engineering, well, it can be difficult at times! Projects that require a combination of engineering and science require kids to use their unique ways of thinking and focused efforts in order to solve problems. The engineering process expects failure, so that the next iteration might work better. As author Ken Robinson once said, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."

  3. Project and Team Based Learning
    A central component of STEAM education is the hands-on, project-based learning. Children will be encouraged to work towards a goal and choose which skill and path they will take to get there. This helps the child to problem solve, discover and experiment on their own initiative. The addition of the artistic element makes complex subjects such as maths much more approachable and somewhat less intimidating. Projects are typically evaluated with subjective criteria that reward creativity rather than black and white right or wrong answers.

    As team work is often a big part of STEAM courses, Children will be expected to work together on finding a solution to any given challenge or problem. Children will have varied approaches, which requires them to communicate their ideas and reasoning with their team members ahead of agreeing on an approach. This prepares children for similar collaborative scenarios in future education or careers in which they will be required to communicate their thinking.

Some Facts About STEM Across the Globe

  • According to the European Commission, demand for STEM professionals and associate professionals is expected to grow by around 8% between now and 2025, much higher than the average 3% growth forecast for all occupations. (Source)
  • Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) predict that over the next six years Ireland will be challenged to fill an over 40,000 projected job opportunities requiring high-level skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).(Source)
  • Moms who communicate about the importance of STEM leads to girls being much more interested in pursuing a STEM career. (Source)
  • STEM training in college is associated with higher earnings, whether working in a STEM occupation or not. (Source)
  • The average median hourly wage for STEM jobs in the US is $38.85. Compared to the median earnings for all other types of jobs in the US - $19.30 - STEM-related jobs pay exceptionally well. (Source)

Interested in STEAM for your kids?

Here at Designer Minds, we run fun, interactive, hands-on Science, Design and Technology clubs, camps and workshops for primary kids. Preparing children for a brighter future. Clubs are held across Ireland and Online Clubs are now available to children worldwide.

Book An Online Club
This image for Image Layouts addon

Designer Minds Clubs

Designer Minds Weekly Clubs are for the curious kids who like to ask why, the creative kids who love to design and make, the little engineers who like to tinker and build and for the tech kids who love technology, computers and robots. We’ve got a variety of interactive activities that are designed to be so much fun that children don’t even know they are learning!

Learn More

Stay up to date with the latest Designer Minds news and events

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
Please tick to prove you're not a robot