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Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, and Mathematics: The Future.
The integration of STEM classes is an on-going and important development in school systems across the world. All of these fields are dire for the evolution and understanding of our society, and yet, they are highly overlooked and understudied. Science helps us understand people and the world around us. Technology gives us whatever we want with the click of a button. Engineering designs and builds the technology that helps us study science. Math is a universal system to understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together.
While these four areas are highly important, what are they without creativity? What is Science without an Albert Einstein to discover the Theory of Relativity, or Technology without Jack Dorsey to invent Twitter? Imagine a world without the ideas of the Engineer Bill Nye or Mathematician Isaac Newton. These people, and many more, did not just study their field, they created and discovered something new, a skill best developed through the Arts.
The Rhode Island School of Design has taken STEM one step further and added the Arts as an equally needed field of study. Music, art, theater, and design can help foster the innovation needed to propel STEM into the future. In creating art or improvising in music, the artist develops the ability to create new ideas which lead to cell phones and space travel, and maybe one day that long-awaited hover car.
In an article titled, Learning to Think with Emotion, Robert S. Root-Bernstein writes of what the philosopher Michael Polanyi calls “personal knowledge,” such as emotions, intuitions, or patterns, skills often neglected among logic-based studies. “By slighting those preverbal forms of thinking, we stifle the inventive capacities of many students,” Root-Bernstein poses. Fields that study people, like Biology and Psychology, need to develop empathy to understand others. Math and physical science require visual and pattern recognition. The article closes with this poignant thought: “The most successful people in every field share an ability to think in ways that we seldom teach in the classroom.” With STEAM, this ability can be included for all the fields.
Full STEAM ahead!