Almost every adult has participated in a conversation whose overarching theme was the pointlessness of “all that algebra”, the futility of lessons in organic chemistry and questioning when the positive deflection of an ammeter in the physics lab would ever prove useful in their everyday life.
Granted, there are specific topics that we just don’t seem to have come round to applying . However we can’t argue with “Maths is everywhere” and science, well science is literally what the earth spins on!
Then came the acronym STEM in the early 2000s (much later in Kenya), previously referred to as SMET by the US National Science Foundation. STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics and according to www.britannica.com is in reference to career fields in those specific disciplines. While the subjects have been taught in schools for centuries, the STEM concept involves linking the different disciplines with the objective of problem solving (by the learners). Experiential learning is at the heart of a STEM based curriculum because practical learning has over the years proven itself over just theoretical learning. STEM students are required to use their knowledge in solving real-life problems e.g
STEM in the real world
All ‘disruptive’ companies or industries in the world so far have used technology to solve everyday problems and meet even latent needs. They have used maths, science to engineer products and provide services but there’s a very important addition to their disruptive solutions- Art! Enter the innovation element that is brought to life through various forms of art.
Last week at Turi, our prep school pupils had STEAM Day. www.educationcloset.com defines STEAM as “an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!”
STEAM is really STEM with an A; and at St Andrew’s School, Turi, we do value the arts just as much as we do the sciences. Stay tuned here to find out about STEAM day and more importantly what Turi pupils think of STEAM.