Did you know that in 2015 there were almost 8.6 million STEAM jobs in the United States? That accounted for 6.2 percent of all employment. Now, while this information is not as fresh as it could be, it still represents the whole picture rather well.
In other words, there's a big niche that remains in high demand and continues to grow every day. Furthermore, it's yet impossible to predict which tasks will appear in this specific niche during the next 10-20 years, however what we can say for sure is that they undoubtedly will appear.
Sounds terrific, doesn't it?
What isn't fantastic is that classical education is not yet truly sufficient to prepare students to undertake these tasks later on. This isn't unexpected however, as after all, the entire educational system hasn't really altered much regardless of how much technology has developed. Therefore, no matter how smart and versatile contemporary students are, if things remain the same, we will quickly find ourselves battling a market crisis with a lot of new positions opening with too few individuals qualified to take them.
That's why lots of contemporary colleges, universities, and schools have gradually started offering STEAM education. It's also why there are more and more science and technology based educational products available for children.
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics". Students who get STEAM education are offered projects that cover all of these topics.
Why was STEAM developed?
As discussed above, the world has altered considerably over recent years and these changes occurred rapidly - this hasn't gone unnoticed by educators.
It also didn't go unnoticed that many of the conventional academic systems weren't providing students with the skills needed to live in the modern world. The standard education as it is these days, deals with problems of the past rather of preparing people for the future.
And while the standard educational approach has its benefits, it doesn't cover some subjects important for a growing world - engineering and style for example. And it's not just the theory we're talking about, it's the thinking that matters. Sure, some student have this critical thinking even without a proper education, but we'll require more people like them in the future and unfortunately, conventional education can't ensure that.
Why is STEAM crucial?
Probably one of the most essential things about STEAM education is that it assists students to develop critical thinking. As mentioned above, it's this type of thinking that is so crucial in order to live in the modern world - after all, nowadays there are plenty of devices, technologies, and apps able to solve recurring tasks, but no device or computer is yet proficient enough to fix problems that need creativity AND critical thinking.
So, STEAM education teaches trainees just that - how to be innovative, how to solve issues effectively, how to think critically. It also assists them develop transferable skills, which is especially important in an ever-changing world.
How can parents help?
It's never too early to start kids on the path to critical thinking - after all, the younger the mind, the more malleable it is. Luckily for us, the types of toys, games and art supplies available for kids nowadays is far more understanding of their future needs an therefore designed to develop these skills in a fun, engaging way. So all parents need to be is be aware of the types of toys they are buying their children - are they fun and are they developing a mind that is capable of anything?
If you're interested, take a look at our range of STEAM toys.