Moving from STEM to STEAM

For awhile now, we have known that STEM education offers students numerous advantages. STEM jobs grow every year by the millions. What we didn’t know was just how much value the Art have to offer STEM students. The effects of the Arts in education go far beyond just giving children a well-rounded experience. Universities are now realizing that by rejecting the false dichotomy between STEM and Art Integration, they can produce better prepared STEM graduates.


STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Integration, and Mathematics. STEAM advocates want to incorporate STEM into the Arts in three ways:

  • Make Art part of K-12 Education

  • Include Art and Design in STEM learning

  • Persuade employers to hire designers and artists who will drive innovation

The idea is that the arts contribute better education outcomes and the economy at large.


How Art Integration make STEM Better

The advantages of studying Art start much earlier. Researchers have observed that SAT scores are 98 points higher in students who studied Art for four years. This means that studying Art has a positive effect on overall academic performance. Not only does studying Art improve overall academic performance, it also improves verbal skills, math, and even school attendances.

Also, at a time when entrepreneurship is so admired, childhood exposure to the Arts made artists eight times more likely to establish a successful startup or register a patent. This means that exposing students to the Arts makes it more likely for the STEM graduates to drive innovation in the marketplace. A STEM education without sufficient exposure to the Arts denies students a well-rounded education.

Why STEAM is Essential

Training in the Arts improves interpretive skills. These are essential skills that help students to gather information, understand it, and draw conclusions from it. A combination of STEM and Arts in teaching has the potential to deliver a deeper learning experience for students.


Students who are exposed to the Arts develop improved problem solving and critical thinking skills, more innovation and creativity, better social skills, and improved flexibility as well as adaptability. Incorporating the Arts in STEM programs may have a positive impact on degree retention. Today, 60% of STEM graduates change their minds about completing the STEM program. The situation is made worse by the fact that only a quarter of high school students are interested in pursuing a STEM degree in the first place. A well-rounded learning experience makes learners more motivated and in turn improves school attendance and academic performance. This means that by keeping the Arts in school from K-12, the quality of education overall improves. The main premise of STEAM is that the Arts and STEM are not opposed but rather complementary.


The STEAM Generation uses it in their curriculum in programs such as video game design which requires both computer coding and digital art assets. By using the engineering design process, students develop skills in storyboarding, character development, environment design, audio/video editing, and user interaction. Participants in the program got a bit of art, engineering, physics, and mathematics, all in one. Can artistic thinking make better engineers and scientists? That is what all the evidence suggests.


Interested in enrolling your child in a STEAM program?

Check out The STEAM Generation – a STEAM enrichment program that provides hands-on classes, camps, and workshops for children 4-14.