The labor market is changing, opening the doors to technological, scientific, and digital roles; this is why it is important to study the STEAM curriculum, the acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
STEM or STEAM?
Investing in human capital means looking to the future and investing in nations’ cultural and scientific growth. STEMs are the primary disciplines for taking this step forward. The curriculum stem is based on the idea of educating students in four specific subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – with an innovative and, therefore, practical and multidisciplinary approach.
Every year in Italy, the demand for ICT professionals increases by about 26%, with peaks of 90% for new professions related to Digital Transformation such as Business Analyst, Big Data specialists, Cloud, Cyber Security, IoT, Service Development, Service Strategy, Robotics, Cognitive & Artificial Intelligence.
But if we also added art to this curriculum? Art is the ability to build new and useful ideas thanks to one’s creativity. In our opinion, it is a subject that should not be missing from those who work with digital technology. By integrating art and creativity, the STEM curriculum becomes even more attractive and innovative. The art subjects (Art, Drawing, Music, and Theater) help develop talents, culture, aesthetic sense, and beauty; for this reason, it needs to be integrated with the technology.
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If we think about it, the integration between art and science is not new; also, Leonardo Da Vinci, the forerunner of all the sciences, in his works, made a perfect combination of art with science. Even in the classical era, there was no real contrast between the aesthetic and scientific dimensions. Aristotle’s poetry has a set of rules related to mathematics and music, or the Greek term “techne” was equivalent to the Latin word “Ars” (Art).
We believe we should stop with the stereotypes and the useless dualism between scientific and humanistic subjects. Would not it be better to integrate them? We favor a school curriculum that points to STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Engineering, and Mathematics).
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STEAM AND OPPORTUNITIES
The school’s Steam curriculum provides an innovative approach that differs from traditional education to its informal and transversal learning environment by showing how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. Children learn computational thinking and its use for solving problems through their creativity. We focus on this experiential approach because personal experiences form and change our ideas and ways of thinking. Tinkering is encouraged, meaning “think with your hands,” “learning by doing.”
STEAM AND GIRLS
Another stereotype is about girls’ relationship with science subjects; two ideas rarely put together, which often discourages girls. For example, Italy needs to overcome this gender gap because by looking at some statistics in 2017, only 12.6% choose scientific or technological subjects at university.
Why? Women feel like infiltrators within this field are considered more relevant to men. In fact, some research said that many girls show interest in technological and scientific subjects during primary school. Still, this interest gradually decreases during adolescence caused by external conditioning such as gender stereotypes and societal expectations.
We believe that the best way to overcome stereotypes is to be prepared to meet the demands of work that have been planned for the future, getting closer and closer to digital art, coding, and making.
And what do you think of the Steam curriculum? You agree to integrate scientific and humanistic subjects.
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Letizia Grasso, Educationalist
“All grown-ups were children, but few of them remember it” This phrase is engraved on my heart. The child who marvels at small things is always with me. I firmly believe that the school should focus on the self-construction of knowledge through direct contact with the outside world and, therefore, through life experiences. A school open to life and from life itself learns. A school that teaches to observe every little thing, to wonder, and to ask questions. A school that forms adults who know how to reflect and put into a relationship the mind and heart.”