Welcome to the exciting world of STEAM education! What is STEAM for kids? And how it can make learning fun and engaging. You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will uncover the wonders of STEAM and discover why it’s an essential part of your education journey. So, grab your thinking caps, and let’s dive in!
What Does STEAM Stand For?
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
It’s a way of learning that combines all these different subjects to help us understand the world in a holistic way.
The Importance of STEAM Education
STEAM education is all about preparing you for the future. In the 21st century, many jobs require skills in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
By learning these subjects together, you develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. These are the skills that will help you succeed in the real world and make a difference in your community.
How Is STEAM Different From STEM?
You may have heard of STEM education before, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
While STEM focuses on these four subjects, the main difference is that STEAM takes it a step further by adding fine arts to the mix.
By integrating arts into STEM, STEAM allows for a more creative and interdisciplinary approach to learning. It shows us that the world is not just about numbers and formulas, but also about expressing our ideas through visual arts, language arts, and design.
It helps us solve real-world problems as they come to fruition with problem-solving skills we have learned through STEAM learning.
What Does STEAM Look Like In Action?
Imagine you’re a game developer, creating the next big video game. You would need to use your programming and computer science skills (STEM) to build the game’s mechanics. But you would also need to tap into your creative thinking and visual arts talents (STEAM) to design captivating characters, stunning landscapes, and engaging game content.
Is STEAM Taught In School?
Many schools are embracing the STEAM movement by offering STEAM programs and projects as foundational skills. I would love to see the STEAM model incorporated far more than it is, but it will get there!
For example, you might participate in a STEAM lesson where you have to design and build a bridge using engineering principles, create a piece of artwork inspired by science, or even code a mobile app.
These hands-on experiences help you apply what you learn in class to real-life situations, making learning more meaningful and exciting.
Benefits of Promoting STEAM Lessons
Incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) into lesson plans for kids, including art, can offer numerous benefits! When incorporating STEAM with a focus on art, remember what STEAM can do for your kids!
Tip: Put together an ART Cart to add to your maker space.
Enhances Creativity: Art fosters creativity and imagination! By combining art with other STEM subjects, kids are encouraged to think creatively, apply design skills, and develop innovative solutions to problems.
Encourages Hands-On Learning: Our favorite thing here! STEAM lessons often involve hands-on activities and projects. When you can actively engage in the learning process, you often understand complex concepts better.
Promotes Collaboration: STEAM projects often involve group work, encouraging students to collaborate and communicate effectively with their peers. Teamwork is essential in real-world scenarios, and STEAM activities teach kids valuable social skills.
Makes Learning Fun: Incorporating art into STEAM lessons adds an element of fun and excitement. It can increase student engagement and motivation, making learning a more enjoyable experience.
Builds a Growth Mindset: STEAM activities often involve trial and error. Through art-based projects, kids learn that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process and that they can learn and improve from them.
Provides Real-World Relevance: Many real-world challenges require combining skills from different disciplines. STEAM projects can help create a diverse skill set that kids can take wherever they go.
Cultivates an Appreciation for the Arts: By incorporating art into STEAM lessons, students develop an appreciation for the arts and recognize famous artists’ significance in various fields, such as architecture, design, and communication.
Addresses Different Learning Styles: STEAM integrates various learning styles! Visual learners may thrive during art-based activities, while hands-on learners benefit from practical STEM tasks.
STEAM In Everyday Life
STEAM is not just for school; it’s also a part of our everyday lives! Have you ever wondered how your favorite video games were created or how the special effects in a movie were made?
These are all made possible because of the STEAM disciplines. Even using social media platforms, watching a YouTube channel, or playing games on your Steam account involves technology and computer science skills.
What Careers Can STEAM Help Prepare You For?
Steam (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) careers offer many opportunities for kids interested in these fields. It’s important to note that career options may vary based on the child’s age, interests, and skill level.
Check out our Famous STEAM-ISTS Projects for Kids (famous scientists, inventors, engineers).
Game Developer: Aspiring game developers can start by designing and creating video games or board games. This can involve storytelling, character design, level creation, and basic coding.
Scientist: Encourage kids to conduct simple experiments and explore the scientific method. Hands-on activities allow them to learn about chemistry, biology, physics, and environmental science. Why not map the ocean floor with Marie Tharpe.
Engineer: Kids can delve into engineering by building structures with cardboard, popsicle sticks, or LEGO bricks. They can learn about concepts like mechanics, structures, and design. Tackle these 12 engineering challenges!
Graphic Designer: Kids interested in art and technology can explore graphic design by creating digital art, illustrations, and basic animations using software like Adobe Illustrator or Canva.
App Developer: Kids can design and develop their own mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. There are beginner-friendly app development platforms and tools available for this purpose.
Astronomer: Kids interested in space and the universe can explore astronomy by observing celestial bodies, learning about constellations, and studying space phenomena. Try a DIY planetarium to get started.
Environmental Scientist: Kids can learn about environmental issues, sustainability, and conservation. They can participate in eco-friendly projects and learn to be stewards of the environment. Try our carbon footprint activity.
Mathemagician: Kids can explore the magic of mathematics by learning and performing math tricks, puzzles, and mental calculations. They can also participate in math competitions. Have you learned about Fibonacci yet?
3D Printing Specialist: Kids can learn about 3D modeling and printing, and create their own 3D objects using 3D printers. We love to 3D print here at home!
STEAM Activities You Can Do With Your Kids
There are many ways to check out STEAM activities (complete list), or try one of these listed below and grab the printable guide as a handy reference.
- LEGO Drawing Shadows STEAM Activity
- Explore Biology with Plant Cells and Animal Cells
- Create a Bouquet of Coffee Filter Flowers
- Make an Art Robot
- Use Binary Code to Craft Ornaments or Bracelets
- Craft Atoms
- Explore Architecture Eiffel Tower
- 3d paper sculpture
- Make a Balanced Mobile
- Play with a Mobius Strip
Remember, STEAM is not just about learning different subjects; it’s about embracing creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
By exploring the integration of arts and sciences, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the future and make a positive impact in the world. So, keep exploring, creating, and dreaming big because, with STEAM, you’re on your way to a fantastic future!
Find 22+ famous scientists/inventors to explore, including famous women, People of Color, and Indigenous Peoples.
Each scientist includes:
- Project Sheet with instructions and step-by-step photos (additional printable included if applicable).
- Biography Sheet that is kid-friendly. Get to know each scientist!
- Animated Videos that cover a simple project idea to try for each scientist!
- My Favorite Scientist Mini Pack to explore a favorite scientist further if desired.
- Games! Secret Codes and Word Search Games
- Supply List to help you fill your science kit for anytime projects!
- Helpful Tips to make each project successful for everyone!
- Bonus Women In STEM pullout pack (note there are a few different activities, but some are the same, simply a convenient smaller pack to use when prepping)
- NEW! Fibonacci, Picotte, Herrington, Henson, and Edison Packs
BONUS BUNDLE PACK: What is A Scientist Pack (Lapbook included)