STEM vs STEAM Education and Why It Is Important for Kids

What is STEM Education?

STEM is an education curriculum that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The evolution of technology has changed modern society in many aspects, and with the increasing importance of technologies in our lives, people have noticed that the focus on education subjects needs changing as well. In order to adapt to the technology dependent society, students need to develop STEM skills beyond the standards in the past.

The idea of STEM is to integrate the four subjects and teach students how they are applied in our everyday life. STEM is designed to teach students how scientific knowledge can be used to solve real life problems and to ignite students’ interests in STEM fields.

STEM vs STEAM

STEAM is the idea of adding “arts” to the STEM curriculum. The “arts” in STEAM includes liberal arts, fine arts, music, design-thinking, and language arts. The difference between STEM and STEAM curriculum is that STEM focuses on scientific and mathematical concepts, while STEAM focuses on these concepts through a more creative process and gives students a different perspective.

Why It Is Important For Your Kids:

1. Spark Creativity and Imagination

STEAM education encourage students to think outside the box. Instead of solving problems with given instructions step by step, students must solve in a more creative way. Students have the opportunity to create, design, experiment and invent. They can play with different ideas when designing and experimenting.

Today’s innovators are design thinkers who design and experiment with creative ideas. The repeated process of designing, testing and fixing process when engineers develop a product requires creativity as well. Trying out new ideas and coming up with unique solutions is one form of creativity and STEAM courses thrives imagination.

2. Hands-On and Skill-Based

STEAM activities are very hands-on and skill based. They require students to build things with their hands, collect data or information and conduct different experiments. Experiential learning connects data and concepts to the real world by applying them to hands-on tasks. This kind of connection allows students to gain a deeper understanding of real world concepts.

While just sitting in the classroom and absorbing information leads to passive learning, hands-on activities can lead to a more engaging and effective learning process. The classes of STEAM education focuses on encouraging students to solve problems using their own skills. Teaching students how to learn and solve problems on their own is far more important than just teaching them facts.

Moreover, there can be more than one solution to every problem in the real world. Experiential learning enable students to come up with their own unique and creative solutions.  Once they learn how to solve different problems using their own skills, they will be able to figure out ways to solve new problems in the future.

3. Fun Education

STEAM lessons are fun and involving since they allow children to learn while playing. The best thing about including fun activities is that children become more eager to learn. For those students who have a hard time understanding abstract math or science facts, fun activities can let them understand the concepts in an easier and more interesting way. An interactive learning style is always more attracting and interesting for kids to learn.

Fun lessons also helps students retain information better. When problems are real-life based and more enjoyable, the learning process and content can become more memorable for kids. These lessons allow students to be the “doers” and makes the learning experience personal.

4. Gain Collaboration and Communication Skills

Sometimes students are not taught the 4Cs of 21st century learning – critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. The 4Cs are essential parts of a balanced education and are indispensable skills for the modern workplace. STEAM courses help students gain collaboration and communication skills through team work. Take engineers for example, they work in groups to come up with optimal solutions and get the best out of each other. Team work is important in future work fields but even before the work field, university courses will require students to work in teams as well.

With an interactive learning style, STEAM lessons provide the perfect environment for team activities. The classes are often communal since it requires students to work in groups and come up with solutions together. Students can learn about work division, communication with each team member and utilizing each member’s qualities through these group activities.

5. More Future Opportunities

Needless to say, STEAM courses help students explore STEAM as a career and increase their opportunities in related jobs. Giving students opportunities to explore STEAM concepts, can develop their interests in STEAM fields. With today’s technology, the demand for STEAM jobs are continuously growing. As students develop positive attitudes and STEAM skills, the earlier students explore STEAM concepts the more beneficial it can be for their future.

The classes doesn’t only increase future opportunities for children in STEAM jobs. No jobs today require only one skill. Instead, it requires integrated knowledge from various fields, and STEAM classes teach skills the way they will be used in the work field. This form of education focus on how to apply knowledge and skills to solve problems, helping students become more prepared and open to different opportunities.

STEAM Classes

The PLEI Academy offers STEAM program for preschoolers. Their courses are designed to appeal to preschoolers’ curiosity and to provide them with essential foundation skills for higher structured learning. Through their holistic program, children’s whole brains are trained and exercised, thereby giving them a more creative and innovative mindset.

The PLEI Academy emphasizes on the use of traditional constructive tools and everyday materials that children can touch and handle in their curriculum. This gives the children hands on experience as they explore, experiment, test and design to spark their imagination and encourage creative and logical thinking and learning.

Find out more on what The PLEI Academy has to offer at https://class.lejourneyapp.com/school/The-PLEI-Academy.

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