Increased Emphasis on STEAM Education
Public and private money is funding STEAM initiatives
The Toyota Wellspring fund was created to support opportunities in education that prepare students for their prospective careers. The fund just announced $1.5 million in STEAM grants for eight public school districts in Mississippi.
The New York Borough of Brooklyn is getting onboard with STEAM, announcing an investment of more than $55 million increase in STEAM-focused spending at more than 150 public, charter and private schools.
In California’s Silicon Valley, the San Francisco 49ers have created the 49ers STEAM Education Program and the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, designed to offer STEM and STEAM education opportunities to more than 60,000 students.
In the world of education, which is typically slow to embrace change, STEAM education is gaining momentum as we witness society evolving from being manufacturing based to one that is focused on technological advancements. By focusing student efforts on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, educators are seeing positive results in preparing today’s students for a more realistic future.
A big part of STEAM education is project-based learning (PBL), which has been credited with improving critical thinking and reasoning, improving personal and social responsibility, and increasing students abilities to visualize solutions to real-world problems.
This movement is another step in the backlash against rote memorization, standardized testing, and quantified accountability measures. In the modern world, employers are looking more at the learning process and problem-solving skills of potential employees and less at SAT scores and overall GPA coming out of school. Smart educators and administrators are embracing this shift, which is critical for our students in keeping up with the realities that exist in today’s society and workplace environments.