What is STEAM?
The key component of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is integration. Instead of teaching disciplines in independent subject silos, lessons are well rounded, project and inquiry based, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning. STEAM aligns with the way we work and problem solve in our daily lives. Making it an exceptional way of instructing and learning. With STEAM we are teaching skills the way they will be used in the workforce, and the real world. Rarely does a job require only one skill set like math. Picture an architect, they use science, math, engineering and technology to do their jobs. The subjects do not work on their own, instead they are woven together in practical and seamless ways allowing the architect to design complex buildings.
STEAM is not new, it is simply ways of understanding and applying an integrated form of learning that resembles real life. Instead of teaching math as separate from science, they can be taught together in a way that shows how the knowledge from those two fields compliment and support each other.
Why add the "A" in STEM?
The addition of Arts to STEM to create STEAM is about incorporating creative thinking and applied arts in real situations. Art isn’t just about working in a studio. Art is about discovering and creating ingenious ways of problem solving, integrating principles or presenting information. Picture an architect, they use engineering, math, technology, science and arts to create stunning buildings and structures. Many people feel that adding the A is unnecessary and that the application of creativity and arts is a natural part of STEM, but others like to highlight it. For elementary aged children, in particular, I like to include the A to ensure that facet of learning doesn’t get forgotten in our lessons. Whether you prefer STEM or STEAM the underlying principles and practices are very much the same, it’s about integration of the pillars: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
STEAM jobs are expected to grow by 16% in the US between 2014 and 2024 compared to only 11% for other sectors*. And right now, science & engineering careers earn more than double the income of the median job in the United States.
Our STEAM Program
The California International School offers STEAM course from the earliest grade levels of instruction with a trajectory through the totality of its grade levels. Some of the courses offered are: