STEM, STEAM – We are all makers. I think everybody has heard something similar to ‘ 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet.’ According to Dell Technologies, “The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn ‘in the moment’ using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself,”
That is why we need to develop resourcefulness and creativity in our children. Design and technology, otherwise known as D&T, is the type of subject that is increasingly recognized to develop these types of thinking. Worldwide there is a resurgence and recognition of the importance of STEM and STEAM.
STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. If you add Art to the equation you get STEAM. It underlines the need for an integrated approach to learning.
Through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative, communication, digital literacy.
Why is STEM important?
The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances. The continual advances in technology are changing the way students learn, connect and interact every day. Skills developed by students through STEM provide them with the foundation to succeed at school and beyond. Employer demand for STEM qualifications and skills is high, and will continue to increase in the future. (from an article Department of Education, Western Australia)
So design and technology will not just help a boy understand a concept, think creatively and communicate his ideas through drawing or design programs, it will help him become a thinker and problem solver. It takes considerable skill to take a concept or idea and convert it into a 3-Dimensional object or design. So get your little guy or girl into the workshop or garage. Let them think creatively about using objects for alternative uses, and make those projects, for it is in doing that they will learn.
I leave you with two quotes from THE MAKER MOVEMENT MANIFESTO:
PLAY – Be playful with what you are making, and you will be surprised, excited, and proud of what you discover.
MAKE – Make. Just make. This is the key. The world is a better place as a participatory sport. Being creative, the act of creating and making, is actually fundamental to what it means to be human.
Rob Neilson / Deputy Head