Who is STEAM for?
A few years ago, STEAM was STEM and the Arts didn’t even get a mention. There was a lot of talk from business leaders and academics around the importance of driving science, technology, engineering and maths for higher education and future careers yet Art, including Design, Music, Film and Graphics, wasn’t a priority.
However, the STEAM movement is now being championed with the understanding that Art provides fertile soil for collaboration, creativity and ideation. The former typecasts: “arty” or “scientific” are increasingly obsolete. Instead, we see and encourage students fusing these disciplines to elicit new outcomes, products and prototypes. An Architect is a classic example of how all such subjects are integrated. There is no one type, rather, many blends, making STEAM for everyone.
Looking ahead: future imperfect?
In a future where AI will inevitably dominate many fields, our children’s emotional intelligence; their empathy and creativity, will be of paramount importance in allowing them to propel themselves into the key roles, effectively to occupy space on the global thought map.
So, it falls to schools to ensure that alongside traditional success metrics; examination grades, university acceptances etc. we are preparing students to be assessed through a future optic which will value their ability to adapt, flex and move organically within a rapidly shifting and evolving, often trans global, context.
By its very nature, STEAM is future-focused. The skills that STEAM subjects promote and develop transcend language and enable students to communicate across and beyond traditional linguistic and geographical, social or even political barriers. Art and science are unifying forces, encouraging collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication. It is easy to see their vital relevance in both education and academia, as well as our daily lives.