8 Benefits of STEAM Education


STEAM education evolved from STEM, which means that it has several different features and benefits. Primarily, its main benefit is the science-oriented training but with emphasis on creativity.

STEAM learning is an approach that gives importance to the individual expressions and creativity of students in solving technical or science-related problems. For example, instead of focusing on established algorithms found in textbooks, students are encouraged to create their own algorithms.

Whether it’s about computer programming, mechanical, structural, or about abstract mathematical problems, new and better algorithms or methods can be developed. This is the proverbial “thinking-outside-the-box” approach.

What is STEAM education?

STEAM education is the integration of the arts in a science-oriented curriculum. It was formalized into law in the U.S. during the term of President Barack Obama in the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA in 2015. It superseded the previous law, the No Child Left Behind Act.

Specifically, the law, under section 4107 3-c-vi, states that local education agencies have the authority to integrate arts into STEM programs. The main purpose of this is to provide a well-rounded or holistic education to students. It seeks to encourage more students to become interested in science-oriented courses.

STEAM education promotes a more integrated curriculum that enhances the multifaceted talents and skills of students. Unlike the old STEM curriculum, the focus of STEAM is now more on practical skills, including social, emotional, and communication skills. These are the skills that are of greater use in the actual workplace. Collaboration, creativity, and good communication go a long way when it comes to solving complex problems.

Hence, STEAM education includes collaborative science projects and the application of science in creating artworks. For instance, instead of simply teaching about the electromagnetic spectrum, students can be given the opportunity to create lightshow arts based on what they have learned about the properties of visible light.

What are the benefits of STEAM education?

The holistic and interdisciplinary approach of STEAM education is very relevant to the modern workplace. Whether it is ordinary office work or a science research work, the modern workplace now involves a high level of interdisciplinary collaboration. A highly compartmentalized workplace is becoming less effective.

Eight of the main benefits of STEAM education include:

1. Collaborative approach

Instead of competing with each other, the students are taught to learn to collaborate, especially when it comes to projects. They learn how to contribute their knowledge, skills, and talent in achieving common goals, and are prepared to become team players at work.

2. Encourages creativity

Instead of merely following fixed instructions or steps, students are encouraged to develop their own methods of solving problems or accomplishing a project. The STEAM curriculum emphasizes the fact that there are many possible approaches to problem-solving. It allows the students to use not only their technical knowledge, but also their imagination.

3. Improves social skills

Since the STEAM curriculum has a holistic collaborative approach, it also helps improve students’ emotional intelligence and social skills. They learn how to work with others and be expressive, and to become more socially adaptable. They will be able to deal with various types of personality and cultural background. Empathy, leadership, and friendship are also developed in this process.

4. Exposure to multimedia and multiplatform education

Students will not only learn about laboratory equipment or scientific instruments, they will also be exposed to various media and platforms. These will include various art materials, digital tools, hardware, machines, and different methods. For example, a student can learn how to use CAD when designing a building or machine.

5. Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking is about the ability to examine the factual and logical merit of a new set of information, and form a rational and informed opinion about certain issues. It’s about weeding out irrelevant and misleading information. Being able to transcend personal biases and avoiding irrational dogmatism are important in developing critical thinking skills.

6. Boosts curiosity

Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and curious about a wide range of topics. They are trained to ask deeper questions about how and why things work. This is the boundary between the humanities and the natural sciences.

7. Real-world applications

Students are taught not only theoretical and academic concepts, but more importantly, real-world applications of their knowledge and skills. Even when it comes to abstract mathematical concepts, students can be taught how to apply them in real life situations, such as household budgeting for instance. Computational and logical skills The integration of the arts in science-oriented curriculum enhances students’ computational and logical skills. Other factors are considered aside from technical aspects. For example, when it comes to solving the problem of climate change, it requires a multidisciplinary approach but also includes significant socioeconomic and geopolitical considerations. Hence, “computation” must factor in other subtle and indirect variables when solving problems.

8. The importance of STEAM education

The importance of STEAM education can’t be overstated, especially when it comes to preparing students for the real world challenges. The integrated and holistic approach of STEAM education makes the students more adaptable to a wide range of situations and challenges.

Are you an educator looking for STEAM resources for middle school, high school or university? Take a look at Arduino Education kits and how they can support your hands-on STEAM lessons.