Joann Askew, Lower School Science Lab/STEM Instructor
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math – disciplines collectively known as STEM, the buzz word of the science community, has evolved. It became STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math. Then, before we could memorize it, it morphed into STREAM (Science, Technology, READING , Engineering, Art, Math). It is comparable to our ever-changing complex world and we continue to adapt our educational approach. As we educate the next generation, it is more important than ever that we prepare our youth to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. It addition to content knowledge it is crucial that we train students in the field of technology to meet the needs of the world’s workforce. We can no longer educate in a traditional format that presents itself as “a teacher in front of the room – teaching content” and measure progress with traditional “fill in the bubble” tests. We need to instill a desire for building, creating, tinkering and making. These provide helpful projects that promote further exploration and learning in our naturally curious youth. We need to question like a scientist, design like a technologist, build like an engineer, create like an artist, deduce like a mathematician and most importantly…play like a child. In order to maintain global influence, we continue to advance our efforts in educating under the current acronyms. November 8, is National STEM/STEAM day. A day recognized and set aside to inspire youth to identify passions related to these disciplines. We are fortunate to live in a time where information is so accessible; we have no excuses. We find trends are changing, we continue to make headway encouraging girls and women to impact the STEM/STEAM/STREAM workforce.
Realizing the trends of the present parents, mentors, and educators will need to utilize STEM, STEAM, STREAM – in fact, all subjects to build leaders of the future. As we prepare our students to excel, not only in school, but in LIFE, we recognize the need to educate differently. So on November 8, National STEM day, gather up the students in your life, get a full head of STEAM and create something that engages, stimulates curiosity, and just might make an impact in the world.