Want to know the benefits of doing STEAM? Here are 9 reasons EVERY teacher should include STEAM in their instruction weekly!
First off, let’s talk about what STEAM is. STEAM standards for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. While STEM and STEAM are closely related, STEAM has that extra “A” that makes all the difference.
The “A” represents the arts, which includes English Language Arts, visual arts, dance, drama, and more.
It adds a creative dimension to STEM education, encouraging innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.
This integration of the arts into STEM subjects helps to create a more well-rounded learning experience for students.
By including the arts, we’re giving kids the opportunity to express themselves creatively while also learning important STEM concepts.
It’s the best of both worlds! Now, let’s dive into the benefits!
1. A great benefit of STEAM is that your students will exercise creativity!
A great benefit of STEAM is that it exercises creativity – and like a muscle, creativity must be consistently used, or it may wane.
One of my favorite activities is challenging students to design a rocket that can fly without being touched.
This activity allows students to think creatively about the design and construction of their rocket while also considering the principles of flight and aerodynamics.
By setting constraints and providing specific guidelines, we’re encouraging students to think outside the box and come up with unique solutions to the problem at hand.
Just as no two students are the same, no two rockets will be the same either.
It’s always amazing to see the variety of designs and the creative ways students approach the challenge.
Try these STEAM Boxes for early finishers, morning work, or literacy centers.
2. Students practice time management
When you give students a constraint on time, they will learn to gauge their time through self-regulation.
This skill taps into the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
This area is responsible for planning, decision-making, and self-regulation. It’s like giving the brain a workout, strengthening these essential functions.
For children with ADHD, these opportunities to practice self-regulation are crucial in developing their ability to plan and manage time.
Just getting started with STEAM? Learn from my mistakes HERE.
When kids master the art of time management, they’re setting themselves up for future success – they may have fewer late arrivals, missed deadlines, and more feelings of accomplishment.
They’ll tackle challenges head-on, feeling confident and in control.
So, let’s help our students flex those prefrontal cortex muscles and set them on the path to success! 💪🏻
3. STEAM Education Allows Students to Apply Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking gets a major boost when students dive into STEAM activities.
First, they identify and break down the problem at hand. This lays the groundwork for creating a strategic plan to tackle the problem.
After putting their plan into action, students test their design and then reflect on the results.
This reflection is key to refining and improving their design.
The beauty of STEAM is that it doesn’t just stop at individual critical thinking; it extends to group work as well.
Students collaborate and share their thinking processes with their peers, enhancing their critical thinking skills.
These aren’t just important; they’re absolutely essential for thriving in the 21st century!
4. STEAM Teaches Resilience as Students Persevere
STEAM teaches resilience as students learn to persevere through challenges.
Just like GRIT, resilience is all about having a growth mindset– the ability to bounce back from setbacks and keep going.
When students are passionate about a STEAM activity, they’re more likely to stick with it, even when it gets tough.
Take my experience with creating this website, for example.
I was determined to make my mark on the internet, but I just couldn’t figure it out.
It took me a whole two years to get it right, but when I finally did, the sense of accomplishment was incredible!
This is the power of STEAM – it teaches students to embrace challenges, learn from their failures, and celebrate their successes.
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It’s not just about building websites or conducting experiments; it’s about building resilient learners who are ready to tackle whatever comes their way.
So, let’s give our students the tools they need to develop their resilience and GRIT!
6. Another Benefit of Doing STEAM is Strengthening Communication Skills!
STEAM education is like a master class in communication skills.
Students are constantly reading, writing, listening, and speaking as they navigate through various activities and challenges.
When it comes to reading and writing, these are the bread and butter of STEAM.
Students need to read to gather information and build prior knowledge on a topic.
Once they’ve got the info, they jot down their thoughts and ideas to help them process the problem at hand.
But that’s not all! Students need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate their ideas with others.
This involves both speaking and listening as they collaborate with their peers, share ideas, and present their findings.
And let’s not forget the public speaking skills they’re developing as they stand up in front of the class to share their projects.
It’s pretty incredible to see how STEAM education helps students become confident and effective communicators!
6. Students learn how to be empathetic when working in groups.
When students engage in STEAM activities, they’re not just learning about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math; they’re also learning about empathy.
They learn how to respond to both successes and failures in a supportive and compassionate way.
When a classmate succeeds in solving a problem, students learn to celebrate their success and offer words of encouragement.
On the flip side, if a classmate fails, students learn to offer support and words of encouragement to help them persevere.
These experiences are essential in teaching students how to navigate success and failures in a healthy way.
Being boastful in success or breaking down in failure can create barriers between people.
By teaching empathy, we’re showing students how to be supportive and understanding in diverse situations, ultimately helping them become compassionate and empathetic adults.
7. Th Best Benefit to Doing STEAM is Fostering Collaboration & Teamwork
STEAM education is all about building important life skills like collaboration and teamwork.
When students work together on a STEAM project, they learn how to share resources, communicate effectively, and play fair.
Take this common scenario, for example:
“[student name] isn’t sharing the materials and won’t let us build anything!”
This is a classic case that happens all too often in the classroom.
But instead of viewing it as a headache, we can see it as an opportunity to teach valuable lessons about collaboration and teamwork.
In this situation, we can ask the students, “How can we make this a win-win situation?”
By integrating these opportunities into our curriculum, we’re instilling important values like integrity, respect, and citizenship.
So, let’s embrace the chaos and use it as a chance to build strong, collaborative, and respectful future citizens!
8. Another Great Benefit of Doing STEM is Building Confidence
STEAM is like a confidence-building superpower!
In my regular education classroom, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible benefits of doing STEAM for children of ALL abilities.
It’s truly a place where every student has the opportunity to shine and feel successful.
I’ve had neurodivergent students who’ve amazed me with their attention to detail and ability to describe things in such a unique way.
I’ve also had students who struggle with traditional math problems absolutely thrive when they can use their out-of-the-box thinking and creativity in a STEAM activity.
And then there are the gifted students who relish the challenge of a tough problem and don’t stop until they’ve figured it out.
The sense of accomplishment they feel when they succeed is palpable.
STEAM is an inclusive, empowering approach to education that gives every student the chance to build confidence and shine in their own way.
9. The BEST Benefit of STEAM is Improving Problem-Solving Skills
STEAM education is like a playground for the mind when it comes to developing problem-solving skills.
When our elementary kiddos dive into a STEAM activity, they’re immersed in a world of questions, challenges, and problems that need solving.
They must use their critical thinking skills to analyze the problem, develop a plan, and then put that plan into action.
But it doesn’t stop there!
After testing their solution, they need to reflect on the results and make any necessary adjustments.
This iterative process is crucial in developing strong problem-solving skills.
It teaches our kiddos how to approach challenges with a positive attitude, think critically about the task at hand, and persevere until they find a solution.
The best part?
These problem-solving skills aren’t just useful in the classroom; they’re essential life skills that will benefit our students for years to come!
The benefits of STEAM education are truly endless.
From boosting creativity and critical thinking skills to fostering resilience and improving communication, steam is a powerful tool that can help shape our students into well-rounded, confident individuals.
And we’ve only scratched the surface!
I’d love to hear about the benefits you’ve seen in your classroom or with your kids.
Drop a comment below, and let’s continue the conversation.
I have no doubt that every child who experiences STEAM education will leave the classroom with newfound confidence and many essential life skills.
The benefits far outweigh the risks, and I’m excited to see how STEAM continues to shape the future of education.
Thanks for joining me on this journey, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!