What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM education is extremely important because it allows students to look at the needs of our world and explore the many possible solutions through problem solving, discovery and exploratory learning. Students need an education with a solid foundation in these areas so that they are prepared to both work and live in the 21st Century. Workforce projections for 2014 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that 15 of the 20 fastest growing occupations require significant science or mathematics training to successfully compete in a global workforce. Unfortunately, surveys find that few students are choosing to pursue advanced study in these areas. Teaching in exciting, engaging ways will inspire and encourage students to pursue courses and careers in STEM. STEM education ensures that we are preparing our students to be competitive and knowledgeable in the ever-changing workforce of the future.
STEAM is the same acronym as STEM, except the “A” refers to the arts. The STEAM movement aims to place a significant importance on including arts education into the classroom curriculum. Each discipline is not isolated, but integrated, in order to support deeper understanding and interest. STEAM education allows for more creativity through artistic expression and is constantly needed in order to promote innovation and intellectual risk. Researchers cite the fact that students are interested in the media and arts for justification of STEAM in schools. Fun with STEM© integrates the STEAM (STEM-A) movement through the use of music, performing arts and complex characters, including realistically beautiful robotic puppets and the humorous performing arts of “Cory the Clown.” The interactive games on this website, which include coloring and sound, also incorporate STEAM (STEM-A) themes by including technology and the arts. STEAM(STEM-A) education is clearly an important way to teach students that artistic expression can be combined with other subjects and it can make learning a more exciting and thoughtful adventure!
Traditionally, mathematics and science are taught as separate, unrelated subjects. The STEM movement integrates all of the subjects and puts them at the forefront of education. Students are taught to be problem-solvers, innovators, inventors and logical thinkers who can collaborate with others in order to learn the information.
There are interactive games which use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math on this website! Play the games with your child and discuss the concepts that they are learning. For example, in one game your child can blow on the computer microphone to make leaves move and in another they are learning how numbers correlate to colors on a universal color chart (HTML and XHTML,) as they color a picture. This is software which is used universally to describe color by printers, website designers and others. There is also a number of video learning segments that you may access in order to learn more about STEM and STEAM (STEM-A). You can also discuss with your child the importance of being a good steward of our earth and how to help keep our earth healthy. Encourage them to make the world a better place and teach your child that it is our job to use the earth’s resources in a responsible, sustainable way. Have a conversation with your child about what they’ve learned and how they will apply it to their every day lives; help them pursue STEM and STEAM (STEM-A) in the future and beyond!