We want young people to leave schools with the skills and ideas to change the world. To make this happen we think Science and Arts should have equal status in schools and that teachers from both disciplines should be able and inspired to collaborate. To advocate to government and help teachers we need tangible examples of brilliant STEAM (Adding the A of arts to the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in action.
STEM + A = STEAM
Education policy makers hold the belief that young people need to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding associated with the STEM subjects to be ready for this (and future) job markets. They are right; there is a documented lack of young people graduating with STEM skills. However, we believe that this focus must be expanded. There is a great deal of evidence which demonstrates that adding the Arts subjects to these priority disciplines – creating a new focus on STEAM, or Fusion learning, is essential to young people’s success.
The evidence shows that:
- The study of the Arts fosters creativity, innovation and resilience; skills that are essential to young people;
- STEAM is essential for creating a fit for purpose workforce that is ready to solve the problems of the future. Employers tell us that they need recruits with the skills, knowledge and understanding related to both the Arts and to STEM;
- A focus on STEAM will create the most likely learning environment for young people to fulfil their potential.
As the OECD has stated:
‘In modern societies, all of life is problem solving. Changes in society, the environment, and in technology mean that the content of applicable knowledge evolves rapidly. Adapting, learning, daring to try out new things and always being ready to learn from mistakes are among the keys to resilience and success in an unpredictable world.'
What is the Hack?
The CLA is organising a 24 hour STEAM Hack in the Science Museum, London on the 28-29 October 2015 where groups of leading scientists, artists and teachers will hack the schools science and arts schemes of work to create inspiring STEAM curriculums.
Groups will be asked to present and discuss their thinking on the 29 October to an invited audience. We will publish the resulting work on the TES website. We’ll also use the events and resources to hold a range of conversations with government about these issues.