STEAM Education FAQ

by | Feb 11, 2016 | STEM Education Info

You’ve probably been hearing about STEM for years, but what is this STEAM education business everyone is buzzing about? Are schools abandoning the STEM education model? What does STEAM have that STEM doesn’t… besides an extra letter?

At StratoStar, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about STEAM education. We thought we’d put together a STEAM FAQ to help newcomers become acquainted with the term.

What does STEAM stand for?

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Through the STEAM viewpoint, these subjects are not isolated. Science and technology are interpreted through engineering and arts, which are all based in mathematical elements. In other words, these subjects are intertwined.

What is the difference between STEAM and STEM?

There are many STEM education initiatives, but educators are beginning to realize that there is something missing from the original STEM model. While STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is still applicable, there is an artistic element that goes into what many of the people in these fields do. From designing a windmill to studying the spirals of a Nautilus, we live in a visual world… which is why the A means so much. STEAM also accommodates for students who were previously omitted from the STEM model.

What are the key components of STEAM education?

At the core of STEAM is inspiration. STEAM embraces the ideology that students should be creatively inspired to find solutions to real-world problems. Additionally, these solutions will require students to innovate, collaborate, and design in order to achieve their goals. Teachers who embrace STEAM education help students understand the beauty and usefulness of art and science in the context of today’s world.

Why is STEAM so important?

STEAM programs have shown success in schools around the globe. These initiatives often offer a more reality-based and personally-relevant learning experience. The framework for these STEAM initiatives is based in the natural ways of learning… learning by experience in a fun environment.

Why is project based learning critical to the success of STEAM education?

Some schools are focused on project based learning (PBL) and some are focused on STEAM education. What’s really needed is STEAM PBL. Under a STEAM PBL model, students will learn modern day skills and get excited about a topic that may have previously seemed uninteresting to them. In the years to come, studies have shown that we can expect a steep increase in the need for employees in STEAM fields, making it a secure career path for any young student with developing interests.

Does StratoStar offer STEAM education solutions?

Yes! At StratoStar, we are loving this step forward in thinking. The A represents that creative formula that is so very present in our weather balloon launches. More than ever, STEAM puts the focus on the learning experience and the integration of these subjects, which is something we’ve always been excited about at StratoStar. Want to see how one of our project works? Try launching a virtual balloon to see how STEAM is at work in our projects.