When we think of the literacy of a person or their cultural level, we can come to the many fields or references, but surely none of them will have to do either with science or with mathematics. However, if we look at the definition of culture, the sciences and all the disciplines that are derived are unquestionably part of it. Surely, the education we have received could make science distant and unconnected with our environment and the other fields of knowledge.
To reverse this situation, science must be taught and promoted from a new perspective, especially if we accept the fact that we live in a highly technified society that implies that science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are basic disciplines to understand and develop in the 21st century.
At the end of the 90’s, the National Science Foundations (NSF) -the government agency of the United States in charge of promoting research and education in the sciences – began to use the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to discuss the relevance of scientific culture in our society, the need to introduce new educational policies and to promote the scientific literacy of the general population.
Under the umbrella of the STEM were programs, policies, and proposals that sought to develop new scientific vocations among youth to increase the country’s levels of prosperity and economic competitiveness.
We may or may not share the objectives of the NSF when working with the STEM, but it is indisputable that it provided a continuous and still valid impetus for scientific education. The work done in research, implementation and resource development for teachers has been enormous and has shown that the results in students are very positive.
In Europe, the idea of STEM has been achieved by the project Scientix. Within the framework of this initiative, a specific portal has been created that seeks to create a network that connects the community involved in scientific education, to share successful strategies and resources and structure political proposals for the promotion of scientific culture.
Recently, a new guest has been added to this combination of disciplines: art and this has led to STEAM. The incorporation of the artistic field in the four STEM disciplines responds to the growing importance given to the development of creative thinking. The success of STEAM in the educational world has been rapid and there are already research centers, institutions and companies that advise teachers to introduce this interdisciplinarity into the classroom.
The impact and the impact of this new power has made that the scientific community is considering and analyzing carefully: for example, one of the editors of Scientific American wrote an article reviewing the evolution of all STEAM initiatives that had been carried out up to the moment.
STEAM is a growing trend in the United States, which is barely reaching Europe. The small and large projects that are being developed can help us to get an idea of the great potential of integrating these five disciplines, in order to favor new scientific vocations.
Contextualization, the integration of disciplines and the relationship of all disciplines with the world around us to give them meaning, as well as creative work with children, are strategies that have proven to be excellent companions of a scientific education that contributes to the full integration of science, mathematics, engineering and technology into the culture.
The STEAM gives us a more complete view of the science that has never been disassociated from creativity despite the difficulties that the scientific community has had to transmit it.
Five Pillars Of Stream Education
Science contributes greatly to almost every aspect of our lives. Science sends astronauts into space, makes flowers and plants grow and mirrors work. We make use of science on a daily basis, especially when we cook, bake, boil or fry our food. Together we can acquire knowledge about science, opportunities in this field and learn how new discoveries affect the communities where we live.
Thanks to technology we can communicate with our loved ones on a daily basis, no matter where they are. We can listen to them, see them and talk to them using our portable phones and stay connected through social networks. Professionals in this field also use other STEAM disciplines to carry out their innovations, such as science, engineering, and the arts. Technology in the context of STEAM focuses on the disciplines of computing and information sciences.
Engineers specialize in solving problems that improve our quality of life. The type of problems they solve, whether technical or not, depends on their specialization — mechanical, environmental, industrial, electrical, civil, etc. For example, a civil engineer designs and builds structures that benefit us all, such as bridges, airports, roads, etc.
Art and Entertainment
Art and technology go hand in hand and this meeting is reflected in several industries, but above all in the entertainment industry. The production of all our favorite shows has teams of professional artists who work in front of and behind the cameras. These include actors, writers, producers, cameramen, designers, audio and video technicians, etc.
Mathematics is used daily in almost every aspect of our lives. We use them to plan a budget, determine if what is for sale is really of good value for its price and measure a sofa for the living room. Mathematics is found in the world of sports — velocities, court measurements, ball angle, and speed, etc.