STEM vs. STEAM: What difference does “A” make?

In almost every recent discussion about education, you will undoubtedly hear the term STEM. With a focus being placed on the technology sector and certain skills being an absolute necessity in the job market we are entering today, an emphasis on STEM is easily understood. Today, however, there is a new acronym that is starting to gain momentum: STEAM. So what exactly are STEM and STEAM systems of education, why do they matter, and which is better? Here’s what you need to know:

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What Is STEM?

STEM education is a specific system of education that involves science, technology, engineering, and math. At the heart of STEM education is an underlying understanding that the job market today relies on these skills.

Having a deep understanding of technology, engineering principles, science and mathematics is necessary to the progression of the workforce. From critical thinking and problem solving, the skills taught in STEM programs are used for solving real-world issues that jobs will demand.

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What Is STEAM?

Then you have STEAM. Like STEM, the acronym STEAM has science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. But STEAM adds one more core principle: arts. STEAM proponents believe that the arts still belong in core education and are directly able to integrate with STEM education. Proponents believe that STEM is a system of rigorous education and including arts can take away from the core concept of STEM education.

Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the debate wages on with arguments from either side. However, the arguments may have middle ground. The type of arts included in STEAM may not be as liberal as many STEAM proponents suggest. Instead of a focus on music, drama, and theater type arts, technology and scientific integration is necessary. Through design elements for manufacturing and engineering, art is required. Creative thinking and communication is also a core art concept that can be important for STEM subjects.

 

Is Your Child Interested in a STEM career?

The average wage for all STEM occupations nearly double the average for all occupations.Students interested in STEM must develop the confidence to apply many mathematical concepts to real world environments.  Math tutoring can be a valuable tool in developing a student’s confidence and skills in STEM.  Let Infinity Math Tutoring help your child harness the enthusiasm and proficiencies required to pursue a future career in the STEM industries.

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