Importance of the STEAM methodology

Education processes are changing and an example of this is the Steam Methodology, which provides wonderful support to students in their training through creation. In this article, we will learn more about this topic and its importance.

Steam Methodology

This methodology specifically encourages attendance among students and provides practical and experiential teaching of the following disciplines that make up the abbreviation Steam in its English acronym:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Art
  • Mathematics

With this type of training, the student is able to face the difficulties raised in a real way, in addition to expanding other skills such as teamwork or analytical capacity.

Origin of the Steam Methodology

In the mid-90s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the USA created the word Stem, where at that time they left aside the discipline of Art.

However, in response to the demand regarding the increase in this type of training for the present students at that time and those who were going to start their educational stage, the Stem methodology had to take an evolutionary turn.

This in order that students who possessed the skills developed by this methodology could be taken into account for jobs in a world where technological evolution is very present.

To resolve, even minimally, the uncertainty in the face of these changes, part of the educational community demanded a greater focus on learning practices and skills and the foundation of models:

  • Physical
  • Biological
  • Computational
  • Mathematicians

Which would later serve as the basis for a series of training sessions and specific conditions. These are the following:

  • Continuous scientific training available to everyone: in a world like the one just described, students must be able to train constantly so as not to get lost in a constantly changing professional and social scenario.
  • Interdisciplinary training: which facilitates the so-called "training for employability", strengthening the present relationships between science, novelty and entrepreneurship.
  • Dissolve the boundaries between formal and informal learning and business and research: to achieve a greater integration of knowledge and wisdom.
  • Global construction of society based on better communication between the local, regional, national and international: in order to face projects that can benefit the largest number of citizens possible and taking into account all issues.

In order to later strengthen and find the creative element necessary to put the aforementioned into practice, artistic training was added to this educational equation, giving rise to Steam, together with A de Arts.

Importance of the Steam Methodology

Since the creation of this methodology, its application has become one of the most important purposes of educational systems in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland or those that make up the European Union. So, we establish by point the reason for its great importance:

  • It fosters a scientific mainstream culture for student decision making, which is very useful both intrinsically and especially outside the classroom.
  • It allows the acquisition of a series of technological and scientific knowledge, applicable to any viable situation that may arise in the future in an integrated representation.
  • This integration of knowledge allows a greater awareness of the relationships between the different fields of knowledge, guaranteeing a greater active participation in the resulting projects
  • Through the creative element collated in Steam versus Stem, students not only have the ability to expand skills in problem solving or analysis, but also creative and critical progress and flow.

What is the primary purpose of Steam?

The idea is that students understand that science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts are not distant disciplines; on the contrary, they are part of our world, so it should be transcendental to know them but in an integrated way, since in this way they get involved to solve problems in real life.

Therefore, Steam wants students to understand mathematics, not as a tedious aggregation of equations to solve, but as the language of science, technology, and engineering.

For its part, science will help them in the investigation, experimentation and explanation of phenomena and contexts.

Technologies and engineering will facilitate the exercise of practical learning and the ability to design and make devices and prototypes, materializing what has been learned. And, finally, the arts will be the expression component of all the sciences.

Application of the Steam Methodology

Although there are countries where Steam is applied to a single subject, in another large community they usually work on it as part of the unification of 2 or 3 disciplines in the same branch.

As previously mentioned above, several authors agree that Steam training should not occur separately, but by interrelating topics, knowledge and investigating their application to real contexts.

In addition, it is suggested that depending on the level of teaching and learning objectives, it can be merged with Project-Based Learning (PBL), gamification, educational games, collaborative education, among others.

The key vision of this methodology is to guide the progress of learning areas in terms of the idea of: Learning by Creating.

Here are some recommendations that should be taken when applying the Steam methodology:

  • Students must be recognized as key actors, therefore, their participation and active role in their learning must be encouraged.
  • It is important to stimulate cooperative education to develop knowledge.
  • The teacher will be a learning facilitator, it is he who will generate knowledge and motivational strategies.
  • To get started with the Steam app, it's important for teachers to know each student's background knowledge.
  • Training design on Steam has to encourage hard work, because the idea is to create a great challenge for all students, without overdoing it.
  • Learning and estimation strategies should include feedback to support learning.
  • Look for an activity or project, whose development implies a link between the areas of knowledge and the different topics, as well as a relationship with the community and its environment.
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