WHAT IS STEAM?
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics. STEAM is an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Many districts use the STEM abbreviation; however, Murfreesboro uses STEAM because we believe the Arts are vital to developing creative problem-solving skills.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, between 400 million and 800 million of today’s jobs will be automated by 2030. STEAM aligns school experiences with real-world problem-solving. It looks to the future and helps students develop the knowledge and dispositions needed for success in the future workforce.
HOW IS STEAM IMPLEMENTED?
The Engineering Design Process:
1. Identify the problem.
2. Explore what solutions are already available.
3. Design an idea/make a model to address the problem.
4. Build the idea.
5. Test the idea.
6. Revise and make it better.
STEAM lessons allow children to investigate and design solutions to real-world problems. Community partners present challenges that link to the content. Then, students work together to solve the challenges. The STEAM process emphasizes collaboration, communication, creativity, complex problem solving, and critical thinking–skills needed in the future.
While state STEM designation is available to all private and public schools in Tennessee, only 32 schools in the state have received that distinction. STEM designation is awarded to a school that creates “a comprehensive STEM learning environment for its students” and can serve as a model “from which other schools may visit and learn.” Murfreesboro City Schools has eight of the STEM-designated schools.