INSPIRE WITH STEAM
Inspiring kids to love Science Technology Engineering Art Maths
Why STEAM matters?
Worldwide STEAM education is underfunded, under-resourced with regard to specialist skills, tools and equipment, appropriate, functional and integrated curricula, as well as continuity of education and engagement. Consequently the majority of our children, and indeed our society are not enabled to fulfill their potential in these areas. In industry, this manifests as a shortage of suitable STEM-enabled graduates, particularly those with the “softer” skills seen as key in 21st century learning. In society, it manifests as disconnection from fundamental aspects of our lives, the world around us, the resources on which we depend, and critical engagement in planning our future. We want to change the mindset in which individuals are “boxed” into assigning themselves to an individual subject area/career/talent. We believe that empowering children to be both creative and critical thinking humans, engaged and active citizens, who can collaborate and work in diverse teams will support a better future for us all!
Why Primary Schools?
Research indicates that the optimum age for engagement with STEM subjects is between 9 and 13 years. This is when a child’s curiosity about the world they live is most active. There is a natural fascination with what makes their world turn and how everyday things work. This, coupled with a limitless imagination, can lead them into an exciting world of discovery and learning.
Research also shows that the younger the child the smarter the investment in education 1 , and that the effective introduction of STEM subjects at the right stage produces beneficial outcomes for STEM related industries, which can have a major impact on the socio-economic performance of the nation state.
Around Ireland, the US and Europe there are laudable programmes attempting to introduce STEM and Arts subjects to and engender enthusiasm in children for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Mainly these initiatives are aimed at second level, yet research is increasingly showing this as being too late along the child’s decision timeline. A child’s imagination is captured in primary school. Of those aimed at primary school most are sporadic, fragmentary and lack the persistence and continuity required to repair the system. Angela Lee Duckworth’s work at the University of Pennsylvania has underlined the importance of persistence and grit in education. The underlying principle of the STEAM approach is ‘persistence’. This is what distinguishes us from other STEM related offerings available. It isn’t a unique selling point of the programme; it is at its core.
We provide courses that address and enhance the school curricula, delivered by actual experts in each of the STEAM fields, throughout the primary teaching year. The courses are further supported by class teachers who reinforce the subject matter and carry it through into their broader teaching. We believe that we are addressing these needs and can provide a sustainable solution to these problems through the delivery of service.
We put real-life experts in primary classrooms week after week during the academic year, with specially designed tools & content for each lesson, to co-teach with the primary teacher. Professor Colette Murphy’s work on co-teaching science in primary schools shows that extraordinary results can be obtained through external specialists working closely with the normal classroom teacher.
This connects industry and third level institutions with schools to disseminate knowledge and leverage the capacity of our experts to enhance the education of our children and the capacity of our primary teachers.
Research For Better Education
While holistic/integrative education is not a new concept, the use of the acronym STEAM is relatively new to most people. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Work by researchers around the world is feeding into the development of education systems which better support and empower children to fulfil their potential, and to understand the world around them, from many perspectives.
Pioneering research by Georgette Yakman [USA] on STEAM as an integrative educational concept specifically connecting STEM and Arts was one of, if not the first, in a growing and evolving movement around the world. In the last decade this area of research and education has exploded – with thousands of publications, applications, educators and participants around the globe.
At STEAM Education Ltd we believe that we must draw on evolving and wide ranging research, and on the experiences of academics, educators, schools, learners, industry and individual experts in any/many and all areas of S, T, E, A, and M to support the development of better education systems – that are more integrated, responsive, reasonable, participatory and fun!
More about us and STEAM in general here:
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