You might have noticed that STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics has received a lot more attention in the U.S. over the past few years. This is in response to the need to improve educational experiences for children to make them more reflective of the world in which we live. Businesses and industries have found that the workforce coming out of high school and college do not have the problem solving, communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills they need to be successful. These skills are needed for success in STEM disciplines, but also in arts, social studies, and other content areas. That’s why many schools are taking a STEAM approach (the ‘A’ is for the arts) to learning. STEAM brings the content areas together in meaningful ways, similar to how children will encounter the various disciplines in their everyday life. STEAM learning experiences harness children’s natural curiosity and provide children opportunities to develop understandings about the world around them and ensure they are better prepared for success.
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