STEAM: Do the Arts Still Belong in STEM?

  • Author: Sophie Prosolek

    The subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are often grouped together due to their inherent overlap in subject matter and logic-focused approach to teaching and learning. However, with a rising employment focus on interdisciplinary skills, STEM is increasingly paired with the arts to create the all-encompassing educational approach known as ‘STEAM.’ 

    Even for those within the field, the ‘arts’ can be hard to define. In reference to ‘STEAM,’ the term ‘arts’ typically refers to the creative arts, subjects such as creative writing, photography and film, music, drama, illustration, and design. The integration of these subjects into STEM learning is no new concept; you could say it laid the foundation for the entire European Renaissance of the middle ages, driving rationalized creativity, invention, and perhaps even modern society as we know it. STEAM thinking has served an excellent purpose for societal advancement throughout history; however, in our post-renaissance logic-centered world of circuit boards and wires, do the arts really have a place in 21st Century STEM, or is STEAM-thinking just another outdated trend? 


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