The importance of Science, Math and Technology has never been more at the forefront of education – and just about every district out there is rolling out STEM programs designed to boost kid’s abilities in these area. STEM may not be enough though – adding artistic and creative components to these programs can help kids learn and more readily retain this valuable information.
From taking your science, tech and math programs from STEM to STEAM works in a variety of ways – beyond the nifty acronym. Some of the greatest minds from the past have incorporated art into their scientific, mathematical and technological discoveries; Da Vinci may be the best known example, but many of our most revered scientists have also been painters, poets, sculptors and artists. At their most basic level, arts foster and encourage creativity – and creative thinking is essential for those looking to take a leap forward in understanding in science, math or technology. As some districts cut back on art, others are fighting back and incorporating this often overlooked component into other areas of study, according to Scientific American.
3 Ways to Incorporate Art into STEM Programming
Tessellations, geometric shapes and projects with clear and discernible patterns can boost understanding of mathematical concepts and how patterns occur in nature. The art of M.C. Escher, the Fibonacci sequence and similar mathematical patterns are easily reinforced using art.
Make it Big
Incorporate art into your science study by creating images of animal and plant cells and the things you see under the microscope. Making an edible cell by decorating cupcakes or cookies, creating a 3D cell sculpture diagram or even using assemblage technique to build a cell can help kids remember what goes where and even the names of the different components. If you have very visual or kinesthetic learners, the act of putting pieces into the correct places for an art project can improve their understanding of the concept or model in question.
Making three-dimensional paper structures that represent shapes, the layers of the earth or even how rain works can help kids not only understand the concept, but explain it to others. When they truly comprehend “why” something works, they will be able to share this knowledge with others, reinforcing the concepts. Having these crucial hands-on pieces as props helps kids report what they have learned; making a comprehensive lesson that includes not only listening, but creating and then speaking or relaying the information. Topics that are consumed in a variety of ways beyond the auditory helps kids (and adults) retain relevant information for a longer time, too.
Love these ideas for putting some Art in your STEM program? We’ve collected some amazing resources and projects on our STEAM Pinterest board – stop by and see what’s trending and what’s new!