Why is it important for all of our students to have a chance to participate in STEAM education?
While we continue to navigate an uncertain future, one thing we can count on is that the work of tomorrow will be tied intrinsically to a proficiency in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) fields. Just look at how quickly STEAM is taking hold.
Already, employment in STEM occupations is growing much faster than employment in non-STEM occupations. Despite only representing 6.2 percent of the U.S. workforce, STEM workers boast wages that are 29 percent above the national average and demonstrate above-average growth.
Believe it or not, many successful K-12 programs start with one enthusiastic teacher, librarian, or media specialist who believes in the power of STEAM. These educators take an active role in introducing hands-on, project-based engineering, coding, and robotics into their schools.
They share several critical success factors:
They start small. From a simple challenge for the students in their classroom or a project at a center in their library, before they go “all in” on their STEAM program, they make sure to have the buy-in necessary to make it successful.
They start simple. By integrating interesting technology that is accessible to everyone, easy to use, and can be integrated with other making and crafts materials in their classroom or library, they work with what they know and expands from there.
They fail fast, improve, and keep on going. Failing fast and forward is interwoven with the maker culture. Educators who take an active role in starting STEAM programs embrace this culture by trying different tools and programs, fail, and learn from those failures to ultimately come up with a solution that works for them.
Are you thinking of implementing a STEAM program in your school or district? Learn more best practices in littleBits’ newest whitepaper: “How to Start and Scale a Successful STEM Program.”
And let us know what’s working for you @littleBits!
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