STEM education is one of the trends in education reform. That said, I do not mean to imply that it is “trendy.” STEM education is a vital part (or should be) of today’s comprehensive education to ready students for career or college.
Science and engineering influence the future. Discovery and innovation solve many problems and relate to many industries — the environment, medicine, scientific research, technology and yes, entertainment. Great moments of science and innovation inspire me. You may wonder why I am not a scientist or engineer. (That is another post for another time!) My path was different, but I am a true believer. Instead of pure science, I use my creative skills to find ways to reach and to motivate students to incite innovation. I marvel at what the deliberate practice of science and engineering can do. I have always had something to say. My vehicle is to promote STEM/STEAM learning for students. There are infinite possibilities.
I retweet scientific breakthroughs. I follow the latest innovation. I marvel at the wonders of space travel and its discoveries. So, why can’t science/engineering people be there for me? I know the sciences and innovation depend on the arts. Please support the efforts of students by encouraging the integration of the arts into STEM education. We need the arts for the art’s sake. We need them to better self-esteem and encourage creativity. We need the arts to enhance design and invention. I am asking all the organizations that are strongholds of science to help. Add the arts to your education programs. Stop talking about it and do it. I know that curriculum in which science and math integrate with the arts seems a bit vague, and that lack of clarity or imprecision stops you. Maybe you are not sure exactly how to do it. It is much easier to do a straight experiment, solve a problem or ask a well-defined, how-to question. But think about it — where would technology and engineering be without the arts?
Kids need the arts for balance and quality of life. The implications for critical thinking and problem solving skills are many. The arts have helped many at-risk kids stay engaged and do better. You really don’t know what a child has to offer. Potential is often obvious, but sometimes it’s not. Offering a diverse experience in education opens that realm. How do you know what is there if you don’t look?