STEM and STEAM in Higher Education

ScholarNet Blog Articles | April 9, 2019

For years, schools around the country have rightfully made STEM education a staple. But something was missing. Enter STEAM education.

STEAM education combines art and science, preparing students for the versatility and creativity needed in an ever-changing, technology-driven world.

Though many people compare art and sciences to oil and water, the two fields can actually come together! By working with STEM principles rather than against them, STEAM enriches education and introduces new ways of viewing fields like engineering and math.

Putting the “Art” in Arts and Science

Knowledge of topics like science and technology is incredibly valuable for students. However, true innovators will want more.

STEAM curriculum introduces the idea of creativity to STEM education. In today’s world, the ability to think outside of the box is considered especially valuable. Innovation leads to new products, new processes, and ideas that have the potential to create lasting change.

Creating the Innovators of Tomorrow

The thinking behind STEAM programs suggests that mathematicians, engineers, and scientists become better at their work by thinking artistically. They come up with creative solutions before anyone else because they’ve trained their mind to do so.

Think tech legends like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk or architectural icons I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry. They were able to fuse creativity with STEM-style knowledge in a way that perfectly outlines the potential of STEAM education.

The Polls Are In

93% of Americans agree that art subjects are important. 86% also believe that effective arts education motivates and improves a student’s attitude toward school.

Perception of the arts in education is shifting — creativity is seen as less of an abstract concept and more of a necessary skill that works in tandem with technical fields. To adapt, schools around the country are shifting their approaches to include both STEM and STEAM.

Next Generation of Careers

By 2020, careers in science and engineering are projected to grow by 18.7% — that’s over 4% more than the average occupation. Plus, more often than not, STEM careers have higher wages than other fields.

Fast-growing, high-paying fields are attractive for students. Think about how your school is promoting STEM/STEAM programs. Technology isn’t going away any time soon, and it will continue to evolve. To prepare, educators should always consider new ways to teach and learn — especially in STEM/STEAM careers.

Join the Conversation

How has your school driven interest toward STEM/STEAM programs? What are your thoughts on incorporating STEM and STEAM programs? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.