STEAM Powered Classrooms

Despite its reputation for being one of the most innovative countries in the world, it might be surprising to learn that the United States is not doing a good job at producing strong math and science students. This is a serious concern not just for educators, but all others who are invested in the future of the country, and its children. That means everyone from policy makers like President Obama, to high-tech companies who need the engineers and designers to create the next innovative product that will drive their business.

Which is why there is a national movement to get young students more interested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) branches. There is the belief that by introducing children to the maker movement and the idea of making and being makers will do just that. And with constant budget cuts that kill art programs, bringing the maker movement to the classroom might just help remedy that problem as well.

One of president’s goals is to get more young girls and boys excited about what’s called STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math. And I believe that the maker movement, the maker culture is a really powerful way of doing that. Tom Kalil, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Making forces children to utilize all of their mental faculties from brainstorming, to planning and problem-solving. Turning an idea into something real and tangible is like an art. So if the maker movement found its way into classrooms it would generate interest in not just the sciences, but the arts as well, giving us STEAM powered classrooms.

Art or science? Probably a touch of both.

I didn’t know it, but I guess I was always a maker (when I wasn’t being a breaker). I used to make things with broken electronics, owned a electronics kit from RadioShack as a child, tried to start a comic book with a friend using linoleum prints, rewired and recycled an old Xbox controller into a PC controller. While making didn’t make me an artist or great at math, it did allow to to explore those worlds. As it turned out I did eventually become a science major, so maybe there is something to this maker-STEM connection.

Casey Shea certainly thinks so. It’s the reason why he’s converting one of the classrooms at Analy High into a makerspace. The author of the article (Maker Education Initiative Executive Director, AnnMarie Thomas) actually goes on to discuss the maker-STEM connection. Here she is actually demonstrating it:

10 thoughts on “STEAM Powered Classrooms

  1. Nice post, this is a great way of supplementing the lack of arts and crafts in the school systems. Perhaps even more important is that through the maker movement, learning in the classroom can be a fun experience.

    • Thank you. Seems like the maker movement has so many great side effects. I wonder how seriously it’s being taken.

  2. I think that with incorporating and fusing art and other components of STEAM, it will give students more knowledge and engage in the curriculum of the school system by having schools working with STEAM.

  3. Great video, I will have to check out that website for more ideas. This is how children should be learning – hands on. I’m sure students would be excited to learn about electricity and circuits in this manner rather than reading information from a textbook.

  4. Now projects like that in a junior high school science class can be the most beneficial thing to motivate a child to learn. That kind of experiment could have helped me understand the movement of electricity better as a child. These types of things is what makes me think its time for a change.

  5. You’re completely right about budget cuts taking away all the extra programs that children need the most to use as their own outlets when they may not have others.

    Just like it was said in the video, I’m a big fan of hands on learning! Education should be theoretically based, but as much as we study in books and are faced with assessments like exams, we still need to put that knowledge into practical use — like by making and in your case, BREAKING! Don’t let such knowledge go to waste.

    Great post.

Comments are closed.