STEM vs. STEAMJerison Harper LeeCurrent Perspectives in Music Education
DefinitionSTEM is an acronym that stands forScience, Technology, Engineering andMathematics.STEAM stands for the same four subjectswith Arts added.
What?STEM subjects include:Chemistry, Computer and InformationTechnology Science, Engineering,Geosciences, Life Sciences, MathematicalSciences, Physics and Astronomy,Psychology, Social Sciences, and STEMEducation and Learning Research.
Why STEM?The National Science Foundation was created in 1950to promote the progress of science; to advance theprosperity and welfare; to secure the national defense.On October 4th, 1957, The Soviet Union successfullylaunched Sputnik 1. This launch led to the creation ofNational Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) in 1958 when Congress passed the NationalAeronautics and Space Act which sparked interest inSTEM subjects across America.
“A Nation at Risk” was published in 1983 due to thelack of qualified worker to meet the great demand ofSTEM jobs in America, putting America in achallenged position when compared to otherinnovators around the world. STEM education becamethe main focus of the national agenda to uphold thesupreme global technological status.
STEAM not STEMAs STEM education is essential in driving the USeconomy, it is not sufficient.The US economic future will not base on onlyreplacing the existing industrial jobs but also oninnovations to meet the world-wide competition.Until 2008, US has been the leader in the world as themost innovative economy. This is no longer the caserecently.
Robert Root-Bernstein, a biochemist and MacArthurprizewinner did a study of 150 biographies of eminentscientists, from Pasteur to Einstein, in the early1990’s. It dealt with this relationship between the twosides of the brain.He found that nearly all of the great inventors andscientists were also musicians, artists, writers or poets.Galileo, was a poet and literary critic; Einstein was apassionate student of the violin; Samuel Morse, was aportrait painter, etc.
The Nueroeducation Study done in 2009 led by JohnHopkins and the Dana Foundation, also showedclearly that Arts education improves studentcognition, memory and attention skills in theclassroom as well as a range of life and academic skills.
It is imperative that our education system focuses on acurriculum that includes, uses and develops, all thetools and skills that are available to support creativityand innovation.“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that hasproduced the stunning unexpected findings of science.” -Carl Sagan
ConclusionInnovation together with Science, Technology,Engineering and Mathematics is the next stepto bring the US economy to a higher level.STEAM is the way!
ReferenceChen, Kelly, and Imani M. Cheers. "STEAM Ahead:Merging Arts and Science Education." PBS Newshour. N.p.,31 July 2012. Web. 22 June 2013.<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/07/the-movement-to-put-arts-into-stem-education.html>."History of STEM Education in the US." N.p., 6 July 2010.Web. 22 June 2013.<http://www.xtimeline.com/timeline/History-of-STEM-Education-in-the-U-S->.“Whitepaper, STEAM not STEM.” Web. 23 June 2012.<http://steam-notstem.com/about/whitepaper/>.“STEM to STEAM.” Web. 23 June 2012.<http://stemtosteam.org/>.