STEM vs. STEAM. Why STEAM is the superior education method.


Madison Young

The SCHS dance team practices in the dance room. Students who participate in the arts statistically perform better in school.

Christopher Kathman, Staff Writer

Full STEAM ahead for arts in education! STEM and common core were implemented into many schools in 2009, to many students’ dismay. But schools have started implementing a newer, revised version of STEM called STEAM, and students may be happier with this new way of learning. The A in STEAM stands for “Arts,” which can range from drama to music to coding.

The arts make teaching new material to kids more approachable. Children who have never looked at a line of code would be less scared and intimidated if it involved something that they were familiar with, like the arts. Kids can be easily intimidated by new material and lessons that are difficult to learn, but the addition of the arts into the curriculum could help children learn easier.

Adding the arts into the education system could benefit students later on in life. Studies by The University of Florida that showed that students who studied the arts in high school scored 98 points higher on the SAT’s than students who didn’t. STEAM would help teach kids creatively and apply open-minded thinking to education and work. Students who learn and participate in the arts more often have original thinking, which allows them to think of problems and designs more outside the box. The arts are used in website design and much more and would help kids think more open-minded about their projects and the way they go about figuring out problems.

A Georgetown Public Policy Institute study showed that STEAM related jobs are rapidly increasing, so including STEAM into the school system would benefit students when they begin looking for jobs. Jobs that integrate STEAM into their work process also pay up to $22,000 more than jobs that don’t require coding and other art skills. Students going into business can also benefit from a STEAM education because it helps them with smaller tasks that come with being a business owner. Tasks like website creation, programming, and security all would be taught through STEAM.

Some people think that the arts should be separate from the material taught in STEM, but the arts and the original thinking that comes with it helps kids learn the material and helps them apply what they learn in science, technology, engineering and math courses to real-life situations.

STEM has brought subjects that students should be learning to most schools across the country, but STEAM would allow students to express themselves in ways that would help them learn their own article better. I, along with many other students, would benefit from this change in education because I am an avid supporter of the arts, and it would help me if I could use visual arts in my everyday school education.