From STEM to STEAM: The Intersection of Arts and Science in Education

From STEM to STEAM: The Intersection of Arts and Science in Education

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Manager Editorial
New Delhi, Updated on Jul 9, 2024 17:11 IST

Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, former Chairman of the University Grants Commission and former Director of NAAC, who has also served as the Vice Chancellor of universities like IGNOU, Mahatma Gandhi University and Cochin University, is currently heading Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai as the Vice Chancellor. Prof Pillai shares his views on why STEM education is essential for this generation’s students.

Education is currently experiencing a remarkable transformation. We are shifting away from an emphasis solely on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), towards one that incorporates more holistic STEAM methods of instruction.

STEAM brings arts into STEM. Introduction of Arts in STEM does not indicate the replacement of core scientific principles with artistic pursuits, on the contrary this approach creates a synergy between them that allows creative young minds to flourish with innovation and creativity to work in their respective fields. The introduction of arts adds multifarious dimensions to the intellect of an individual and aids in the process of understanding human and social behavior. This understanding is immensely useful in plethora of ways viz. building or designing innovative products; to content creation; to industrial and managerial solutions.

Why is STEAM such an incredible force of change? Join us as we investigate further and uncover how art and science come together in the classroom for incredible transformation!

Bringing to Light the Unknown Through Artistic Expression

Sure, STEM education is essential for this generation’s students, which will make them become future leaders and rule their respective fields. However, with STEAM, they can delve deep into something that goes beyond their learned skills, they can cultivate the potential of adding arts to their curriculum. It will make them ask “why” and “what if?” This curiosity will make them imagine and ignite a spark that will empower them and move them one step forward towards their dreams.

To take an example, imagine students learning about the human heart. Throughout the learning process, they can only imagine and see the functions and diagrams through visuals. But the STEAM approach is something that will also help them memorize those functions and diagrams. For instance, they can create a model through their artistic potential, which will not only enhance their engagement throughout the learning process but also help them solidify their comprehension of complex subjects.

Breaking stereotypes: Bridging the space among STEM and Art

In the past, there has been a binary division and differentiation of the academic world into Liberal Arts and STEM. This differentiation led to a rift among students who excel in technology and people with creative inclinations. However, with the emergence of STEAM training, this perception is under transformation. The purpose of STEAM education is to appreciate the harmony that exists among both fields. When artistic pursuits and technological know-how are combined within school rooms, it is the start of a learning process in which all competencies can discover their abilities and collaborate and learn together.

Using imaginative expression to obtain holistic information

The capability of STEAM education to promote an extensive knowledge of hard subjects is one of its essential blessings. Students are encouraged to analyze their surroundings and draw connections between special subjects through inventive expression. For example, the use of artwork to visualize medical ideas permits students to recognize summary requirements and take in them in a considerable way. In a similar vein, adding dance or music to STEM training can assist students in understanding rhythm, pattern, and movement, as well as recognizing technology and math thoughts. The remarkable study of Jagdish Chandra Bose on how plants respond to musical soundwaves is well known. To extrapolate this we can state that if musical notes impact the growth and development of plants, it becomes a fascinating story to witness and be a part of an experience where such arts can help in the development of us as humans!

Enhanced Creativity and Innovation

If one needs to thrive in today’s dynamic world, he or she must have a level of creativity and think critically to develop innovative solutions. By doing this, they can succeed in the 21st century. STEAM education is something that helps students think outside the box, and integrate innovative approaches to solve problems by bringing a unique perspective that is not used by anyone else. This will also help them discover various learning opportunities, and develop resilience in the face of challenges.

According to LinkedIn surveys of 2018 and 2019 and a report by Personnel Today, it has been found that companies desire people who are good in soft skills. Creativity is amongst the top three skills needed for in leaders and employees as per the LinkedIn survey of 2019. It is the study of civilizations, music, dance, languages and literature, design, and similar fields which will add valuable elements to an individual’s creativity making the learner more innovative in thoughts and action. The combination of artistic creativity and innovation can be seen in the magnificent works of Leonardo da Vinci.

Being a professional who thinks creatively and differently is crucial in the dynamic job world. It always seeks people who have the expertise to generate innovative ideas. This can only be achieved by integrating arts into STEM education. Schools, colleges, or other institutions must follow this STEAM integration in educating students so that students can discover a world of new opportunities, tackle various organizational challenges, and know their potential.

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About the Author
Manager Editorial

Abhay an alumnus of IIMC and Delhi University, has over a decade long experience of reporting on various beats of journalism. During his free time he prefers listening to music or play indoor and outdoor games.