STEM, the collective term for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, became a focus in education in the early 2000s in reaction to statistics showing the United States falling behind other countries in those subjects in our education system and work force.
While there is no doubt that these four subjects are incredibly important to the progression of the country as a global leader, it turns out that art not only complements these subjects, but increases chances of success in STEM subjects as well.
Proponents for STEAM (with the added "A" for art), instead of simply STEM, demonstrate that the study and practice of art increases what educators call the Four Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, all vital skills necessary for success in STEM fields.
In fact, Adam Grant found in his research for his book "Originals: How Non Conformists Move the World" that Nobel Prize-winning scientists were seven times more likely to have a hobby of visual art than their non-Nobel-Prize-winning peers, and 22 times more likely to be involved in a performing art than their non-winning peers.
And according to the Arts in Education Partnership’s 2013 report, Preparing Students for the Next America, The Benefits of an Arts Education, “Creativity is among the top ranking of 'in demand' qualities. 65% of Americans believe that creativity is central to the U.S.'s role as a global leader. 97% of business leaders agreed that creativity is of increasing importance in the workplace. However, 85% of employers seeking creative candidates had trouble finding qualified applicants.” Creativity is an essential precursor to innovation, which is the key to moving STEM fields forward.
1. Pendulum Painting
2. Shadow Art Science
3. No-Cook PlayDough Sculpture Lab
4. Sharpie Tie-Dye Experiment
These are just a few great ways to integrate STEM and art to create STEAM-focused activities that work both sides of the brain at the same time. If you're still looking for more ways to sneak art into your child's daily activities, check out our variety of summer art camp options with new projects every week for ages 5-14.