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STEM to STEAM: why should we make space for A!

A is the first letter of the alphabet and many times it refers to something essential. Still, its place in STEAM where it stands for Arts is sometimes questioned. Why should we embrace it and make space for it?

Even though the A between Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math represent ARTS, it would be also apt to use C as for CREATIVITY. It doesn’t mean the same but there is a tight relation between these two concepts. Many scientific pieces of research agree creativity is something that can be learned. And arts might be the way how to boost it.

Why do we need to be creative? Because there’s a straight way from creativity to innovation. And being innovative is what we need to make the economies grow.

The importance of being creative

Students from Rudolf Dilong Primary School in Trstena, Slovakia, brought models available on Lifeliqe to life. An amazing STEAM project!

STEM to STEAM: why should we make space for A!Students from Rudolf Dilong Primary School in Trstena, Slovakia, brought models available on Lifeliqe to life. An amazing STEAM project!

STEM is mostly based on swotting up information and obsessed with standards learning. Still, knowing is not enough. We don’t need well-filled heads, we need well-thinking heads. It’s great to have a lot of information but it’s useless if we don’t know how to use it effectively, be curious and create new and innovative things.

This is why the traditional STEM model loses its popularity in the developed countries where the young generations prefer to work in business disciplines based on innovation and/in entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, in the developing countries, the situation is different and STEM disciplines are seen as a tool that propels the economy.

Still, the level of creativity amongst US students is declining every time they are examined because there’s no way of nurturing the creativity amongst young people.

Left-side or right-side of the brain? We need them both!

We used to divide people strictly to those dedicated to humanities and those dedicated to techs. This is also related to the division of right-side brained and left-side brained people. To be able to solve problems we need both sides of the brain.

While trying to solve a problem it usually works like this:

  1. We focus on facts and already known solutions, this is what the left-brain does. If we don’t find the solution, both parts of our brain start working together.
  2. The right hemisphere starts a search for the relevant information.
  3. Right hemisphere provides found information back to the left-brain.
  4. Left hemisphere tries its best to find new solutions, unseen patterns, and high-level abstractions.

We need both parts of our brain to be able to think and solve complex problems and this is why we need to strengthen them both.

Let’s get arts back to the game

Arts can be implemented easily when you have an open mind and will. There’s no need for dramatic changes and excessive funding. Just try to find an innovative way of using the tools schools and universities already have.

For example, computers and tablets can be used easily as tools that can introduce arts via graphic design and related disciplines, for example.

And Lifeliqe can be very helpful, too. Check how teacher librarian Julie Hembree from Washington used Lifeliqe to merge STEM and poems in her poetry challenge.

Windows users can also export Lifeliqe models as coloring sheets and spread it with little students. They can easily work with the outlines and fill them with colors, organs or magical parts. Let them be creative!mlok