STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. STEAM is an educational discipline that aims to spark an interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences in children from an early age. Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math are similar fields of study in that they all involve creative processes and none uses just one method for inquiry and investigation. Teaching relevant, in-demand skills that will prepare students to become innovators in an ever-evolving world is paramount, not only for the future of the students themselves but for the future of the country.
Using STEAM education results in students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century.
This interdisciplinary approach has helped create innovations like the iPhone, the original laptop computer, and is even revolutionizing cooking in third world countries, and improving air quality as a result.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.” Enhancing such skills lies at the heart of STEM and STEAM education.
The Difference Between STEM and STEAM
STEM is a building block for STEAM. STEAM education makes its focus the application of science, technology, engineering and math through art and design. Another way of looking at this is that STEAM educators can help students connect what they learn in these critical areas (STEM) with art practices and design elements. Ultimately, students should feel like they can wonder, critique, inquire and innovate.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF STEAM EDUCATION IN NIGERIA?
● Engaged learning for students. Creating STEAM projects that illustrate STEM concepts empowers students to become part of the teaching process. Through hands-on, creative learning, studies show that students not only learn more – they retain what they learn.
● To help students develop the skills they need to be successful in the future. Regardless of the specific role or industry, it is now critical that students go off to college and/or enter the workforce with a set of well-rounded skills that allow them to adapt to an evolving and fast-paced environment.
● feel safe to express innovative and creative ideas.
● Steam helps student use real life physical material element to help student learn subject in these field. Every element in STEAM education applies to life.
● A creative approach brings fun back to the classroom. By using art projects as a springboard for teaching STEM, a K-5 STEAM curriculum makes learning fun for students – while improving their learning and test performance. Engaged students learn more and retain more of what they learn.
COMPANIES/CLUBS THAT OFFER STEAM TRAINING IN NIGERIA
● Attainables Entertainment Limited (STEAM empowerment foundation and The STEAM club) runs STEAM education in different school with children for over 6 years, with Olabisi Ozo-Onyali being the founder of STEAM in Nigeria.
● TechQuest. TechQuest is a non-profit STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education provider that was founded in 2015 to impact children aged 6 -16. The goal is to complement traditional academic learning with an in-depth introduction to STEM in a fun and collaborative learning environment; through the empowerment of individuals, schools and organizations with content, resources and tools needed for STEM education.
● Africa STEM and Video Game Research- A technology, video game and engineering curriculum provider, STEMifying African K-12 students with STEM experience.
● STEMers- The company goal is to encourage, support and sustain the interests and choices of young people in Nigeria in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
● EDUFUN TECHNIK- An educational organization that specializes in creating educational solutions for children and youths to help them to plan and learn through play method, practice, hands-on and learner/child centered method of training while allowing them to immerse themselves in the world of technology and specifically (STEM) education through the STEM LAB.
There is a need for government to find STEAM Education in Nigeria, Science in the world over stimulates development, but Nigeria said to be in the league of developing countries has little or no investment in STEAM education. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education is a global concept that encompasses the processes of critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration. In this period of recession, when it has become necessary to seek alternative sources of boosting the economy, STEAM has been identified as a viable option.