STEAM takes the idea from STEM education and takes it to the next level, combining the foundations of this approach with an added discipline: art. It is thought that these subjects, taught by engaging students in hands-on, interdisciplinary learning, will provide students a more comprehensive understanding of the most vital skills and disciplines that the world’s workforce needs today and in the near future.
The STEAM education framework uses a practical approach to learning by encouraging students to question, challenge, and critique within the areas of science and technology, giving students a more well-rounded appreciation of the world
This is one reason why many schools have adopted this idea of STEAM education, to raise children with all-rounded confidence in Science, Technology, Engineering/Entrepreneurship, Art, and Math. But have you ever wondered how exactly schools ‘teach’ STEAM? How can you incorporate this approach into your child’s learning at home as well? Here is a glimpse at what STEAM learning looks like!
Use your hands!
STEAM learning is all about hands-on projects that encourage open-ended discovery and investigation, problem-solving, and creating solutions. It takes textbook learning one step further so that children can see the concepts take place in real life. Hands-on learning gives children the opportunity to have direct practical experience while learning the theories and also engage their mind in a new and creative way. All of one’s senses are involved in such projects which enhances learning and increases engagement.
Connect teaching to the real world
Real-world problem solving is important as it shows children how STEAM concepts are useful and applicable in solving problems. This also motivates them to be more interested in what they are learning. Incorporating relevant global or community themes into activities is something you can practice at home with your child. You can also present real-world problems and challenges, and get inspired by real inventions to propose your own solutions using STEAM concepts.
Ask and explore
STEAM is not a teaching syllabus, but an approach. Instead of rigid lesson structures, leave space and opportunities for children to ask questions and explore. Children are naturally curious and like to wonder. Teachers or parents can facilitate their explorations by assisting with guiding questions or suggestions. Learning through conversation gives students the ability to talk to each other about what they have learned and pose questions to each other when something doesn’t make sense.
Blur the lines
If it isn’t already clear, STEAM is all about the inter-disciplinary exposure. Thus, it shouldn’t be a fixed time to ‘teach math’ or ‘teach science’. Time set for STEAM learning should show the fluidity and inter-connectedness of these subjects and concepts. It gives the children more control over their learning and this will make them care more about it. At home, remember to let them make some of their decisions on the projects they are working on!
Now that you know what STEAM learning looks like, it is time to incorporate it into your home! You can also visit international schools in Singapore during their open houses to understand more about how they implement STEAM education into their curriculum.