The Importance of STEAM Education
Teaching in a STEAM environment is a diverse
educational environment that requires teachers
not only to be instructors of technology, but a
facilitator of learning in a multi-disciplinary
environment. The integration of Science
Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
requires a curriculum that can cross
curriculum lines that address standards and
benchmarks, must address cultural dynamics
of the 21st century classrooms. STEAM will
affect the employability of millions of Americans
and determine the growth of Blerds.
Acronyms cannot define the value and importance of
a curriculum in too many cases it creates a climate of
confusion and uncertainty to the direction of teaching
young minds. Since 2001 the letters of STEM have
been part of educational vocabulary slowly
transitioning to STEAM since 2011.
The acronym STEM represents an instructional model
of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
A teaching design initiated by the National Science
Foundation to revolutionize education by incorporating
technology and expanding the influence of science
engineering and mathematics.
This design is to provide the skills necessary for students
to be able to compete in a global environment. Global
educational models are not universal; each nation has it
own educational policies and procedures used to manage
learning. The change in industrialized and agricultural
skills has shown that careers in these fields are slowly
disappearing. Nations have been focusing on technical
lines of education where competition is becoming digital
because of the creation of digital content.
The changes of STEAM are shown in changing the
traditional teacher-centered classroom model to a
hands-on, problem-solving, exploration, discovery,
reflection, and project based model. The access to
technology is important and the understanding of how
technology is integrated and manipulated by students
and teachers. STEAM creates a paradigm shift in the
integration of the Arts because of the ability to affect
cognitive growth, problem solving and creativity.
Engineering is more than just designing buildings and
structures it requires an Arts based foundation. The Arts
are key in the innovative and “out of the box” direction
of thinking, analyzing and immersion of creativity that
is seen in modern structural design.
Cultural dynamics is the involvement of Blacks
and other non-white cultures. Because of the
disappearing of agricultural and industrialized jobs
Blacks are loosing economic parity and employment
because of the unavailability of manual labor jobs
that machines are performing. Even in industries
such as the automobile industry, farming, livestock
and custodial services Blacks and non-whites are
being phased out. The skills sets of the past that
allowed employment, earning of a salary and even
allow for a second job by manual labor are gone.
Traditional teaching strategies and practices teach
elements separately STEAM. Using three to four teachers
of instructional knowledge and background teaching
each subject according to individual curriculum expectations.
The integration of each curriculum element or component
provides a creative and innovative way to problem solve
and apply what has been learned through projects.
Students benefit from a STEAM program as it includes
and addresses multiple learning modalities. An important
key is innovation that allows students to maximize the
best fit for them in learning. Stated from the White House
web site “Educate to Innovate” there needs to be an increase
in STEM literacy so that all students can learn deeply and
think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology.
The importance for the need to STEM and the transition to
STEAM is stated here,” recognizing that a strong
foundation in science, technology, engineering and math is
key for laying the foundation for our future prosperity.”
That prosperity if for American youth to be leaders in the
areas of STEAM.
The teacher guided learning allowing students to embrace
learning on a scale as leaders and content creators.
STEAM jobs require workers to possess the ability to
think critically, work as a member of a team and
independent creators. The performance gap between
American students and those of other countries is a
challenge. Black students must embrace technology
to move beyond consumers to creators. No culture
can be influential if they are only consuming resources.
Equitability of growth comes in the form of creating,
manipulating and being involved in STEAM as it
grows from the classroom to the corporate, educational,
scientific, financial and military applications around
The options of employability can be seen in National
Science Foundation data the is very important for
Blacks and non-whites that typically do not understand
the importance that technology has. The National Science
Foundation “estimates that 80% of the jobs created in
the next decade will require technology, math and science
There should be a realization that global competition is
now, not 10 or 5 years from now. STEAM elements
should be designed to teach the “whole” student that
encourages and prepares them to be contributors to society
not just consumers. Companies want workers that can
problem-solve, brainstorm, collaborate, contribute and
communicate new ideas and innovative possibilities.
A Blerds Vision
As an speaker on STEAM, STEM and Blerds (Black Nerds),
a engineering teacher at a elementary school.
I encourage parents to create learning environments in their
homes. Allow their children to explore their talents in
science at museums, engineering with legos, work within
the arts to understand the value in creativity and expression.
Blerds need to be encouraged and supported to create new
products, Apps, educational products and enhance cultural pride.
Being a presenter I want to make sure parents understand
that their children will be judged by their ability to create,
collaborate and innovate. Where we see a football, baseball,
tennis ball, basketball or other athletic tools. There
should be a Tablet, headphones, digital camera, books on
The challenge comes from the heart, the mind and the passion
to create. President Obama called for 100,000 new STEAM teachers
over the next ten years; the importance of STEAM education
and putting those types of teachers in the classroom is
paramount to the education of American children and the
competitiveness of the United States in global markets of the
Raising Blerd, Nerds and Geeks for Black Americans