Hello all.  STEM education is something that is near and dear to me (as you can tell)  In my last blog post I covered my definition of STEM.  In short, STEM is not singular subject areas (ie Science).  Just because one teaches Science, that does not mean that they teach STEM.  However, if you teach STEM, you most likely involve some Science into your curriculum.  So, what about those that say “its not STEM, its STEAM!”


STEAM is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  Is this at all different from STEM? It depends who you talk to I guess.  Are we trying to say art is a part of everything we do in STEM? Or are we trying to promote art because it got left out of the STEM movement?  What are we trying to prove?


STEM is a mindset.  It is a cross-curricular, project-based approach to teaching.  Having students code EV3’S to move an object from one point to another would be considered a STEM activity.  Would it be considered a STEAM activity as well? Does creating that incorporate art just as much as it incorporated technology or science?  You could make that argument I suppose. What about designing a balsa wood bridge? Design could be considered art, right? But what about Engineering?  Design is part of Engineering too! Creativity, ingenuity, it that Art?


Look up the definiton of Art:


“The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”


The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.  That part in particular, I can see where STEAM proponents are right. However, just to say “its STEAM” because you teach Art is no different than a Science teacher saying they teach STEM because they are a Science teacher.  Its also no different than a keyboarding teacher who uses computers in their classes saying they teach STEM because computers are technology. All are wrong in my opinion.


This argument, to me, has some merit.  Art incorporates creative skill into design.  Architects definitely use their artistic skills to design a building.  But, they also need to have a basic knowledge of Engineering design, right?  We are getting lost on this whole STEM/STEAM debate a bit. You can make a good argument that art goes into a lot of aspects of STEM.  But please, don’t use STEAM as a “hey, what about us?” kind of statement. Music, is NOT STEAM. Art, is NOT STEAM. Science, IS NOT STEAM!  Using a combination of 2 or more of these subjects to find a solution to a problem and building/creating something to solve it; now that is STEM…or STEAM.  Whatever you want to call it.


But what about STREAM!?!?!?!