STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Many schools require students to take more STEM classes than just the required courses. However, STEM is missing a few key components and not every student will be looking into technology-oriented careers. Students should not be forced to take more STEM courses than needed. To expand and develop the education system, schools should change the STEM curriculum to a STEAM curriculum.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. This curriculum has all the same material as before but more. It includes arts which can help involve more students. With a STEAM curriculum, students would have more freedom to mold their education towards what they might want to pursue in their lives after high school. They would still have the opportunity to take the original STEM courses, but they could also take more than just that. This eliminates the birdcage students are being put in. STEM limits students to just science, technology, engineering and mathematics. While these courses are very important, other classes are important too. This needs to change. Students should not feel trapped inside STEM or feel less important because they don’t want to pursue a STEM-based career. Schools need to be more inclusive and allow students to take what they enjoy.
On Freedom’s school page explaining what STEM is, it says “STEM-related coursework will prepare students with the knowledge and confidence to inspire a new generation of individuals seeking to make a difference in the world.” This may be true, but arts can also “inspire a new generation of individuals,” who will make a difference in the world. With arts included in STEM, there will be an even opportunity for students to inspire a new generation. It also says that “Students can become the catalyst to spark their own imagination to strive for innovation and positive advancement and change.” Arts are perfect for sparking one’s creativity. Arts can also help drive innovation and positive advancement. Arts fit perfectly into the description of STEM, so it should be included. Not only do arts fit in the description, but they also add more!
Some concepts included in arts are humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and news media. All of these expand the curriculum and can even make learning more enjoyable. Making the switch to STEAM can develop creativity, problem-solving and collaboration. It also can increase engagement and motivation and personalize the learning experience.
It is time to break off from STEM and make the change to STEAM. In today’s world, everything is digital and technology is advancing. With STEAM, students get all of the benefits of technology plus more. They can even look at technology in more creative ways. Switching to STEAM will create better opportunities for students and prepare them for their futures.