Making a case for the STEAM education methodology
It is no surprise to any parent in the 2020s that digital media and tools are increasingly being introduced into education. Although their theoretical foundations are in the field of science, you’ll find STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) playing a more mainstream role, with a case being made for the need for art and creativity in the technology.
A few months ago, we wrote about what STEAM tools and toys the young people of today are into. (You can read the article here). In it, we talked about how more ‘learning toys and tools’ are becoming gender neutral and a majority of them focus on STEM, with not nearly as much in the market that incorporates the area of the arts. We spotlighted a few products that caught our attention in different areas of STEAM education. One of them was LEGO, who created a STEAM learning series called Build to Launch, an interactive digital learning adventure simulating the lives and days of NASA engineers, scientists, and astronauts on the Artemis I team preparing to launch, complete with the figurines to match.
The STEAM methodology is gaining momentum
The concept of STEAM has gained momentum the past 5 years. One marker of that is the number of schools that are beginning to place a deep value on the arts just as they do science, tech, engineering, and math. And this focus, we believe, is particularly important as we bring more women to the wonderful world of technology.
There is a lack of consistent incoming talent in many STEM fields, which stems (forgive the pun!) from not nearly enough young women choosing technology specializations. The STEAM methodology presents an alternative to solve problems while taking advantage of creative and collaborative skills in learning spaces to increase interest and participation. It brings in a softer, more creative dimension that may serve to attract more young women and non-binary individuals into technology roles in product design, user experience and customer experience design, sound and video engineering, urban design, and agricultural/environmental planning. You’ll find an article with more infomation on ‘career options in STEAM’ here.
More recently, with social media being a wonderful gateway into hearing the stories of trailblazers in the field, there has been an upsurge in girls’ confidence. Increased representation helps encourage young women to pursue careers in fields that may previously have been intimidating, and traditionally male-dominated.
In the STEAM education methodology, teachers strive to offer a meaningful understanding of the scientific concepts in a real world context. They encourage student-centered projects in which individuals cooperatively pursue outcomes, and overcome blocks along the way. The curriculum is typically interdisciplinary and offers an educational path based on creativity, motivation, and sustainable development. Critical and creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, communication and cooperation skills, the ability to define roles and duties take center stage.
At the ‘Women in Tech Tribe’, we believe there’s expansive space for women in technology, and we strive to provide the education we can to support them. For more information, be sure to read this blog post which offers practical ways in which you can encourage the young women in your life to embrace STEAM.