Here's why STEAM is the new STEM in Education

posted by Gomathi Kannan, August 17, 2018

We have all heard of the STEM subjects -- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But what about STEAM? Yes, when you put the Arts in there, you turbocharge your child's learning like never before.

When we were young, subjects in schools were taught in silos. English, Biology, Physics, Math, and Chemistry, for example, co-existed as separate entities. But honestly, anyone with half a brain will tell you that everything is connected. For instance, you need basic math skills and instincts to design with proportion and to full effect. Did you know that Intel recently hired an anthropologist? There is no use making great tech if you don't know the evolution and the future of the people you are making it for.

What is STEAM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These four subjects have become the focus of the current education system. Students usually distance themselves from these terms assuming them to be too complex. But even a simple game such as building with blocks could involve these essential traits. For preschoolers, What we consider as 'play time' has actually proved to be a time for exploration.

Is STEM, all that is required to develop an educated individual? Absolutely No! So Educationalists have fought over altering STEM to include subjects that need equal attention. Thus the terms STEAM and STREAM evolved!


STEAM is STEM along with Arts - (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)
STREAM is STEAM with Inclusion of Literature - (Science, Technology, Reading/Writing, Engineering, Arts and Math)

What can the inclusion of Arts and Reading do to STEM?

If the argument is 'can Arts and reading' improve STEM learning' then there is no growth for a sensible argument. STEM concepts are intertwined with ARTS and Language Literacy! Imagine an engineer building a bridge or a web developer creating a web page without designs! They cannot do better designs without an interest in the ARTS!

Although a negligible knowledge of arts might suffice to work on STEM projects, ARTS and Language Proficiency aid for an effective education more than we think they do! Practicing the ARTS has been proved to improve creativity and boost confidence to better apply the STEM knowledge we possess. It gives a different and fresh perspective to every analysis.

ARTS more than STEM

Sometimes, the need for ART has demanded the need for STEM . In other words, to produce a visually artistic work (Aiming for an Artistic Outcome) STEM knowledge had been deployed. A few examples below:

1) Fashion Industry where the designer employs Stem Knowledge to create a fairy dress with mechanical wings (

2) Drones that flew to generate impressive creations mid-air ( )

3) Thanks to Toka box! This is how my little one created a Thaumatrope and his mechanical fairy by employing his STEM learning!

Toka Box and STREAM!

Toka Box has made STEM more enjoyable through the inclusion of ARTS and Literacy. Our little subscribers have enjoyed Learning STEAM concepts. Our boxes have a book, accompanied by a related craft educating STEM concepts in an interesting and fun way. Also stay healthy with our Toka Chef Recipe.

Featured image credit: Flickr

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