Monday, January 9, 2012

Adding Arts to STEM: Making STEAM

By Sam Piha

Thinking about how to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in afterschool is a topic that has everybody talking; this includes activities during the school year and in the summer. A recent article in Education Week focused on efforts to gauge girls in STEM activities, and featured Techbridge, a Bay Area program.

The Afterschool Alliance recently published a paper offering an analysis of the impact and outcomes of attending a high-quality afterschool program that emphasizes STEM activities. They found that “attending high-quality STEM afterschool programs yields STEM-specific benefits that can be organized under three broad categories: improved attitudes toward STEM fields and careers; increased STEM knowledge and skills; and higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career.”

Now many STEM advocates are making the case that adding the disciplines of art and design to STEM activities (STEAM) greatly enhances the learning experience. A recent EdWeek article explored the idea of merging the arts with STEM to further unlock students’ creativity and innovation.

The National Science Foundation has underwritten a number of conferences on this subject, including hosting a forum at Rhode Island School of Design titled, “Bridging STEM to STEAM: Developing New Frameworks for Art-Science-Design Pedagogy.”

What do you think? Should the arts be integrated into afterschool STEM activities?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Supporting Our Youth in Times of Fear and Threats

By Sam Piha As our young people are returning to classrooms and afterschool programs, our country is gripped by confusion, fear, and anger...