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Why Is STEAM Education So Important?

Why is STEAM education so important? It’s easy enough to see the value in teaching science, technology, education, art, and mathematics on their own. Why pull them together under a STEAM umbrella?

Learn why STEAM education is so important, and find some valuable STEAM education resources

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Why Is STEAM Education So Important?

As regular readers know, I am the fourth of ten siblings. We work in ten very different fields. I find concrete examples really helpful, so I thought it would be fun to see how a STEAM education applies to our different careers. I’m sharing a fun new educational resource at the end of the post to jump start your STEAM education!

Child #1: Orchestra Managing Director

My oldest sister directs an orchestra in Massachusetts. Here’s how she uses her STEAM education every day:

  • Science: Figuring out how to make different concert halls work acoustically.
  • Technology: Communicating with orchestra members and audiences. Maintaining databases.
  • Engineering: Fixing acoustical problems, repairing instruments.
  • Art: A violist herself, she uses her understanding of music to communicate with the musicians she works with.
  • Mathematics: Calculating ticket prices, tour budgets, and hall seating capacities.

Child #2: Helicopter Pilot

  • Science: Understanding how a helicopter flies.
  • Technology: Running the helicopter cockpit.
  • Engineering: Conducting thorough equipment checks.
  • Art: Enjoying the beautiful landscapes he flies over. For search and rescue missions, being able to tell where nature looks a little different can be the key to finding a lost hiker. Plus, he’s a pretty awesome amateur photographer – check out his photography tips.
  • Mathematics: Understanding elevation and flight angles.

Child #3: Homeschooling Mom, Curriculum Expert

Well, this one is kind of obvious, isn’t it? She teaches her six kids all of these subjects, and keeps learning herself as her children explore new interests. But, beyond the obvious…

  • Science: Growing an incredible garden.
  • Technology: Setting up online lessons for her children and researching educational resources.
  • Engineering: Fixing her broken washing machine.
  • Art: Thinking outside the box to figure out how to teach each child (this is also science).
  • Mathematics: Budgeting groceries and home improvements.

Child #4: Blogger and Photographer

  • Science: Experiments with my kids. And, before I had children, researching PTSD for my Ph.D.
  • Technology: Running this site!
  • Engineering: Sewing and crochet and crafting with my kids, solving small space living issues, and coding this site.
  • Art: Using music as a parenting tool, creating an aesthetically pleasing site.
  • Mathematics: Finding ways to balance a budget while living in an incredibly expensive part of the world. When I make the time, analyzing analytics for this site.

Child #5: Operations Manager, Health Care Startup

  • Science: Understanding how to optimize health and encourage healthy lifestyles.
  • Technology: Communicating with clients.
  • Engineering: Setting up an infrastructure that will support all clients.
  • Art: Maintaining a human side to health care.
  • Mathematics: Calculating risks, costs, and benefits.
We all know that science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics are important, but why pull them together under the STEAM education umbrella?

Child #6: English Teacher in China (Department Head)

  • Science: Figuring out another culture through observation and experimentation
  • Technology: Making English lessons more interesting for students through pop culture references and other student interests.
  • Engineering: Figuring out how to live in a high-rise and navigate a crowded city with two small children.
  • Art: Adding a creative element to lessons to engage student interest.
  • Mathematics: Tracking student progress, faculty performance, and identifying weak areas.

Child #7: Ph.D. Student, Statistics

  • Science: Identifying a problem that statistics can solve.
  • Technology: Using statistical software to run analyses.
  • Engineering: Coding programs.
  • Art: Thinking creatively.
  • Mathematics: It’s statistics!!!

Child #8: Online User Experience Expert

  • Science: Conducting experiments to see which interface is the most user-friendly.
  • Technology: Her entire job is computers!
  • Engineering: Coding sites that are user-friendly.
  • Art: Developing aesthetically pleasing sites.
  • Mathematics: Collecting and analyzing analytics to figure out how to create the most user-friendly site.

Child #9: Studying to Be an Orthodontist

  • Science: Understanding how to care for teeth.
  • Technology: Learning about new dental tools that work better and are less painful.
  • Engineering: Understanding how to use braces and other orthodontia to fix tooth and jaw problems.
  • Art: Helping shape patients’ teeth into something more attractive.
  • Mathematics: Understanding angles and predicting lengths of treatment. Eventually heading up an office budget.

Child #10: Studying to be a Psychologist

  • Science: Studying the science behind mental health issues.
  • Technology: Communicating with the two labs she works in, using statistical software to analyze research.
  • Engineering: Coding statistical software.
  • Art: Empathizing with people who suffer.
  • Mathematics: Analyzing research data.

Have I convinced you yet that EVERYONE needs to study these five fields, AND that everyone needs to understand how to apply them within different contexts? This brings me to a fun resource i have to share:

Introducing STEAM KIDS!

STEAM KIDS - an awesome new STEAM education resource for parents and teachers

Several of my bloggy friends worked together to create STEAM KIDS, an amazing educational resource for parents and educators! Available in print from Amazon as well as as an e-book PDF, this book has amazing projects your kids will love. This book trailer gives you a good idea of what to expect:

Here are a couple of sample pages from the book:

Check out this amazing new STEAM education resource, and learn how ten siblings use STEAM in their ten very different careers.

Even More STEAM Education Resources

The authors of this book have put together some amazing FREE STEAM Education resources as well! Check them out:

How do you use your STEAM education in your everyday life?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

9 thoughts on “Why Is STEAM Education So Important?”

  1. What’s really interesting is that the A in Art or really creativity is not an afterthought. A is the ideas that drive the outcome. Our school systems need to focus more on creativity, leadership, and taking risks/learning from failure rather than teaching to the test.

  2. In addition to your earlier comments, it also amuses me to see the wide range of ages. That’s another interesting part to me of large family living, how to accommodate and care for the very young kids while also having “very old” kids.

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