STEM vs. STEAM: What’s the difference?

Now, when you hang around a robotics team, you hear a lot of terms, including robots (of course:)), STEM, Recycle Rush (ah, wonderful memories) and STEAM. Whenever people hear one of the mentors say STEAM, they always ask, “Don’t you mean STEM?” and the answer is always no.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s a way of education for kids, a belief that kids should be introduced and taught STEM from early ages. This will help them think logically, develop skills that are valuable in the job market and establish an interest in careers in engineering and sciences. Their aptitude for these subjects will be far greater if it’s integrated into everyday education.  Vital skills like problem solving, common sense, perseverance and thinking outside of the box come with learning in a STEM environment. The kids who learn STEM education are the future engineers, inventors and leaders!

Okay, so now you’re thinking that’s great but what does STEAM mean? What’s the extra A doing there? First of all, STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. While many new STEM programs are being started in schools, STEM isn’t enough on its own. To foster creativity, resourcefulness and inventiveness (is that even a word?), the Arts is needed. STEAM takes everything that STEM brings to the table and adds more to it to create a perfect way of learning.

what is steam

STEM originally was limited in the areas it covered but with STEAM, so much more is covered as STEM is learned through an arts perspective and so many more skills are taught along the way.

So what does STEAM mean really? It means innovation, curiosity and exploration.

This is a great link that goes into further detail about the difference between STEM and STEAM and pros and cons of both:

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