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Why Is STEAM Education Important?

With all the talk of STEM, STEAM education seems to get swept under the rug.

STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, gets the lion’s share of the focus in conventional education. This is because we are under the illusion that young people need only these four subjects to get “good” jobs.

Meanwhile, the arts are systematically eliminated from educational curricula. Fortunately, arts academy middle schools and high schools are bucking this and reinforcing the importance of STEAM through arts-integrated education.

Arts Integrated Education

The big question is, what does a “good” job even look like? It seems there’s no concrete answer. Yet, regular public schools claim to be preparing students for these perfect jobs that don’t exist.

Learning environments need to be dynamic, fluid, and relevant. Now more than ever. Arts-integrated education reinforces this. It’s the idea that school needn’t be a system of strict weights and measures. There’s an understanding that the world is a complex place and learning happens everywhere.

Teaching academics through the arts provides such fluidity. It also reinforces skills that develop through the arts such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborating.

It’s not about only looking out for number one.

Rather, it’s about integrating concepts, topics, standards, and assessments to disrupt what has become the typical course of events for students in the conventional education system.

STEM vs. STEAM Education

STEM education comes from a well-meaning place. At least, we like to think so. Folks truly believed they were giving students precisely what they’d need to thrive in the 21st-century economy.

In reality, STEM is missing several of the key components that today’s employers (as well as educators and parents) see as necessary to succeed both now and in the future.


Based on the belief that economic prosperity is dependent only on STEM topics, programs, and initiatives have been implemented in conventional education throughout the country.

These include after-school clubs and programs, special STEM designated days to encourage hands-on exploration, robotics programs, computer labs, and providing students with mobile devices.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of this. Of course, these skills will help children who will be navigating the job market in another ten to twenty years. But without that arts, students are no longer getting the whole package.


Making STEM steamier is the goal of arts-integrated education. STEAM education takes the benefits of STEM and integrates those principles through the arts.

STEAM education in no way excludes STEM. The way we see it, it takes it to the next level. It gives students a chance to connect their learning in
STEM topics with arts practices, design principles, and standards to give them a complete pallet of learning. It brings the important elements of wonder, inquiry, critique, and innovation back to education.

How Arts-Integration Implements STEAM

Arts-integration educators focus on six distinct steps in creating their STEAM-Centered classrooms. Each step aims to work with the content of the subject and arts standards to answer an essential question or problem. They are as follows:

1. Focus

Closing in on the essential question or problem to address is the first step. There needs to be a clear focus on how the question or problem relates to both STEM and the arts.

2. Detail

During this second step, educators double down on the elements that contribute to the problem or question. In studying the correlations to other areas or the reason the problem exists, educators typically discover key background info or processes the students already have in place.

3. Discovery

This is where students actively research current solutions to determine what is and what isn’t working. Teachers are able to analyze the areas where students fall short in these analyses and teach those specific skills or processes.

4. Application

This is where students begin to figure out how to apply the skills and processes they learned in step #3 to address the problem and begin to create a solution. It can be exciting for them as they see things coming together, thus keeping them engaged.

5. Presentation

Once students feel satisfied with their solution, they then present it to the rest of the class for feedback. This serves two purposes. The first is to teach them how to present their own perspective in a way that will make sense to others. The second is to learn how to both give and receive input.

6. Link

The loop is closed in this final step. Once students have received feedback, they can decipher what input was helpful. They’re encouraged to reflect on how they may better apply their processes and skills to create a better solution.

Interested in Arts-Integrated Education for Your Child?

STEAM education incorporates what’s known as the ‘4cs of the 21st century’ – collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.

Each one is an essential component to a student’s future success.

If you’re ready to find out how this sort of education could help your child succeed in the future, contact us today to take a tour of our school. And prepare for possibility.


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