With the focus today so much on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), it is easy to see why the Arts may have taken a back seat for more reasons than just budget cuts. There is a movement now that aims to put the “A” back into the mix. Why shouldn’t it be STEAM? It doesn’t take much to know that without the arts, especially and most obviously, the drawing parts, STEM wouldn’t get off the ground, down the river, to the center of the earth, or wherever invention, exploration, and imagination lead.
Without the arts, those memorable moments in cinema, or life, wouldn’t quite be the same. We are defined not only by what we construct, but also by the creative design and passion of the invention. Hand a child a paintbrush, open a box of instruments, read a line of poetry aloud, sing some thoughts to others or yourself, and you’ll unleash innovation. The arts are empowering, too. They strengthen our spirit, stamina, and the ability for us to get through difficult times—just by participating. There can be no problem unsolvable when creativity opens more possibilities. You rarely hear a child say, “I can’t draw, sing, or dance.” unless an adult has said it first.
If we ask students to reach for the stars, conquer horrible diseases, figure ways to feed the world with limited resources, and share knowledge with all—as a right and not as a privilege—we’d better be using STEAM power to do it. Putting the “A” for Arts in STEM is a necessity and not an option for success. Leaving it out, in the long scheme of things, is far too costly, and nothing we accomplish without it will ever be as great—or as enjoyably satisfying.
Editor’s Note: Share with us how you’ve added the Arts to your STEM programs. Submit a story idea under Contact Us at Connect Learning Today. Looking forward to hearing your stories.