The Importance of STEAM Learning. If you are familiar with the technology or educational sectors, you have undoubtedly heard that STEM, which is the educational focus of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is in most cases now referred to as STEAM, to include the arts.
Why is STEM education so important?
STEM occupations are growing at a much more rapid pace than any other occupations. STEM degree holders have a much higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of New Zealand economy and are a critical component in helping New Zealand continue to develop in the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science and technology literacy and enables the next generation of innovators. Only through innovation are new products and processes developed allowing sustainability and growth for the New Zealand economy.
Science is all around us throughout the world, and technology continues to expand exponentially. Engineering is not only the design of roads and bridges but also tackles major issues including, global weather changes and environmentally friendly developments to our homes. Mathematics is entwined, not only in every occupation but within every activity in our lives. Students exposed to STEM have opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts allowing them to develop a passion for STEM and the possibility of pursuing a career in a STEM field. A STEM-based curriculum has real life situations which are helpful to the way a student learns.
Robotics is an ideal vehicle to integrate STEM subjects and provide opportunities for students to see how concepts relate to real life. Robotics provide hands-on experiences and ensures students face challenging thought processes that make maths and science both more fun and interesting which allows the student to do so much more than just learn from a theory-based classroom.
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalisation and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation)
STEM also allows for creativity. Hence STEAM is born, now adding Art into the mix.