Children must be prepared for careers not even available now and they must be able to solve complex problems that will challenge our ability to function in an ever shifting world. The earth is much smaller because of digital communication, satellites that use infrared, radar and microwave technologies to survey millions of miles of land, sonar technologies that can “see” in the deepest of oceans and seas. The same satellites that have their digital “eyes” aimed at deep space and even new technology that can detect movement of animals and intricate weather patterns. Providing weather predictions for weeks and months in advance.
All provided by the growth and integration of academic elements being taught in schools across this country. Because technology has advanced it is important for the engagement of tools to be fused into educational initiatives like STEM/STEAM/STREAM/CSTREAM and STEM2, they are all are connected, but each has a powerful individual effect in our world. The goal is to engage the whole child and foster high achievement in all areas, “as defined by STE[+a]M, which is a website created to share information about the blending of arts and sciences. The past error in thinking was that each of these elements were separate and unequal. The new thinking is that STEAM creates a curriculum that embraces all these elements which allow students to hone their personal skills and advance in areas that are new, but just as important.
There is a new way of thinking, grounded in research on the brain shows creativity helps students to learn. The artistic development and the scientific techniques are complimentary than once first believed. The blending of these skills require students to engage in creative, critical and higher order thinking that supports collaborative and cooperative learning. Learning that pushes and challenges, and brings about success that is transferable in advanced areas of appliance and application.
Many careers are now influenced from STEM curriculums and have helped determine the paths for students. Educators, artists, and scientists recognize the importance of blending the arts and sciences and believe that this can lead to richer student learning. STEAM is complimentary with 21st artistic, scientific and technological century skills. There is much more than just teacher centered instruction, the student must be the center of learning and involve the “4 Cs”: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical thinking, and Communication. So important are these elements and how instruction is performed that the organizations of the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of Education are joining to make sure current and future models of learning properly prepare students to be the skilled laborers this nation needs to lead in the 21st 22nd and 23rd centuries.