WHAT IS STEAM

STEAM is an integrated approach (a way to teach) to promote critical thinking, creativity, imagination, collaboration, and teamwork. 

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM

Science-Questioning

Technology-Tools

Engineering-Problem Solving, Design                                             

 Art-Expression

Mathematics-Pattern, Measuring

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM: SCIENCE

Science is about nurturing a sense of wonder and curiosity.  It's about experimenting, encouraging, investigation and asking "why do you think" questions.  For example, how do plants grow?

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM: TECHNOLOGY

Technology is not just a fancy word for tools but magnifying glasses and dump trucks are too. 

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM: ENGINEERING     

Engineering starts with identifying a problem then moves ahead to thinking about solutions and trying them out.  For example, how do you make a toy boat float in the water?

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM: ART

 Art gives children the opportunity to illustrate STEAM concepts in creative and imaginative ways

 

COMPONENTS OF STEAM: MATHEMATICS

Math is more than counting.  Math thinking includes comparing, sorting, working with patterns and identifying shapes.

 

FULL STEAM AHEAD

According to the Toy Association, for the U.S. to maintain its preeminence in STEAM, it must produce 1 million more STEAM professionals over the next decade. This would demand an increase in students getting STEAM degrees by 34 percent annually. (Report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, February 7, 2012)

Here are the top 10 indirect benefits of toys and play as they relate to STEAM skills and attitudes:

(1)  Toys establish intrinsic motivation which gets kids involved/passionate about STEAM subjects and leads the way to developing a joyful, healthy relationship towards these disciplines.

(2)  Mistakes are OK.  Toys and play teach kids how to fail and still have fun. The handling of mistakes is an important mindset that contributes significantly to children’s development of persistence/perseverance.  Play is a risk-free zone.

(3)  Toys can teach collaboration and social/emotional skills which are greatly needed in the workplace.  

(4)  Toys can expand stereotype roles and foster diversity of cultures and perspectives.

(5)  Toys can teach kids to take healthy risks in a playful environment and transfer that confidence and courage to their future endeavors—including those in science, technology, engineering, math, presentations, performance, etc.

(6)  Toys can promote hands-on work which helps the brain improve cognition including math. 

(7)  Toys can encourage kids to explore their own talents and develop their passion through play.  This allows them to expand their interest and try out new things to help them identify what they like and want to pursue.

(8)  Toys can help kids realize and relate STEAM skills to the world around them making math and science relevant to things they experience every day such as cooking, running, and building.

(9)  Toys can teach kids to problem solve, think deeply, and take their time—in addition to many other transferable skill/competencies.

(10) Toys can integrate the arts into STEAM projects by encouraging creativity, intuition, and imagination.