Right Turn: Moving from STEM to STEAM

Author: Stacey Johnson, 02/12/16

Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? If you’re the former, and you think more is better, being inclusive and diverse benefits humanity, and that children are our future, then this should be in your sweet spot (meaning “an optimum point or combination of factors or quality” as opposed to these definitions).

STEM, the educational phenomenon that has been building for 60 years, appears to be morphing into a broader mandate: STEAM.

Apparently promoting science, technology, engineering and math is too limiting. The “Arts” want their day in the sun too. STEM has been reborn as STEAM.

For NASA astronaut Alvin Drew, who sometimes finds it frustrating not having the words to share his unique experiences with others, the “A” in STEAM is about being able to clearly and successfully communicate complex ideas: mastering the “art” of communicating. It’s not a bad reason to expand the acronym, but proponents argue it’s much broader. I encourage you to read this Edutopia post and read why Beakerhead in Calgary, Alberta, was launched.

If you’re still not convinced, read: “Want your children to survive the future? Send them to art school” and watch this video.

 Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.


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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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