Technology today is ubiquitous. It permeates so much of society, from recreation to academia. As a result, kids today, more than those of previous generations, need to know how to maneuver this “new” world. For this reason, it is important that their education reflect this necessity. And a STEAM education is one way to achieve this goal.
STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Technology. It contains the same tenets of a typical STEM education, but with the addition of the arts. By adding “art,” the humanities becomes integral to this traditionally science-based field of learning. And combining the two is important for everyone, but especially children.
An inter-disciplinary approach
In the same way that the left side of the brain does not work independently of the right, so too so science and art work together as disciplines. Combining the two approaches makes each more concrete and less abstract in the minds of children.
For example, rather than teaching about the technology of a wind turbine, students would benefit from having to design it themselves and also understand the necessity of it in certain social and cultural contexts.
This way, students understand both as interconnected, which in the real world, they are.
STEAM is about more than just jobs
Indeed, STEM jobs are expected to grow exponentially in the future, and at a quicker pace than jobs in other fields. So part of preparing kids for the future is preparing them to be technologically literate, if not savvy.
However, even machines need compassion. That is, while it is important to have the technical skills to build and create, it is important to understand what this means for the general population. A STEAM education encourages kids to ask questions about reasons for doing things and possible consequences. What will this look like when executed fully? The concept of social responsibility, which is not yet inherent within STEM disciplines, comes to live in a STEAM education.
Learning soft skills
Generally, a STEAM education teaches students to
- Ask questions
- Connect the dots between action and rationale
- Solve problems creatively
- Think critically, and
- Be more innovative in their approaches to tasks.
When kids are given a stake in their own learning, they are more likely to internalize the lessons. For example, when using Scratch to mobilize a Lego robot, students are encouraged to construct the robots on their own and figure out how the physical machinery responds to and depends on the blocks of code they manipulate on the screen. This way, they have a lasting understanding of the concepts because they were involved in their own learning.
CADE + GDEV Coding Camp for Kids
This summer, GDEV is partnering with CADE museum of art for a STEAM coding camp for kids. For 6 weeks, students can can participate in a wide-range of hands-on activities including wood burning, soldering, metal work, building challenges, textiles, painting, print making, and more. They will also learn web development, Scratch, printing, Python, and Japanese art to round out their education.
Make your kids’ summer fun and educational with CADE + GDEV. For more information, visit our website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!