Science in STEAM education is a cornerstone of the idea of integrating technical subjects with the arts into a more complete education system. STEAM education refers to initiatives that group the subjects of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics together. The first part of this acronym, science, can be crucial for providing learners with problem-solving skills and teaching them to embrace the quest for knowledge and understanding.
Keep reading to learn about the importance of science within the STEAM framework, or visit our education solutions page for more valuable insights into the modern classroom.
Within academic circles, the concept of STEAM education has grown in popularity. While the acronym itself covers the core subjects that are involved – namely science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics – understanding the question of “What is STEAM education?” is important, and it goes beyond simply learning these subjects.
Essentially, STEAM education is an integrative education model not only focused on the importance of the individual subjects, but also how they come together to provide a rounded education. The subjects themselves were chosen partly because of this, but also because of their value within the workforce and their role in teaching crucial life skills.
In this article, we are going to focus on the importance of science and the value that a scientific education can provide students throughout their time at school and beyond.
What is Science?
Within the context of education, science refers to the act of teaching scientific information and processes. It is often broken down into the following three fields or branches:
- Physics: The study of topics like energy, matter, force, space and time, etc.
- Biology: The study of living organisms, their functions, evolution, etc.
- Chemistry: The study of chemicals, the elements, substance composition, etc.
However, while this remains the case, modern definitions of science tend to also include social sciences along with the three natural sciences. This then introduces a whole range of additional subjects, with some of the most notable examples including psychology, sociology, and economics.
A significant part of science as an academic subject is focused on research and ‘the scientific method’, which involves formulating a question, coming up with a hypothesis or a proposed explanation, making a prediction, testing the initial hypothesis, and then evaluating the results. This is important because it places a strong emphasis on the need to back up claims or assumptions with clear evidence. Moreover, it allows the subject to appeal to people with all kinds of different learning styles, including logical learners, natural learners, visual learners, and social learners.
The Importance of Science
While the teaching of scientific principles has a range of benefits, the importance of science can perhaps be best summarized by the fact that it teaches important critical thinking skills, the search for truth, and highly transferable problem-solving skills. The basic scientific method can also be used to answer many non-scientific questions too.
Science can appeal to learners of all types because it includes active learning, writing, creating charts, visual demonstrations, observation of events, and a lot more. Additionally, science lessons can include individual and collaborative work, teaching students to adapt to different situations based on the requirements of the task.
Within the workforce, scientific knowledge and the skills to carry out scientific research and analysis are in high demand, which is one of the reasons science is included within the STEAM acronym. One of the challenges that is sometimes raised is that young children find it difficult to engage with science as a subject, so a key focus of many STEAM initiatives is finding ways to make the subject more interesting and engaging.
Science in STEAM Education
Beyond the importance of science as a subject, it is also worth taking some time to think about how science relates to some of the other components of the STEAM acronym. After all, one of the aims of STEAM education is to achieve a level of integration between the different fields.
For instance, science and technology match up well because much of the technology we use and rely on has been the result of scientific discovery. The link with engineering is also clear in much the same way because engineering uses scientific ideas and concepts to design and create structures, machines, and objects. Similarly, science and mathematics go hand-in-hand, especially with physics, where numerical data is crucial.
Although the relationship between art and science may seem less clear, at least initially, it is worth considering things like depictions of the natural world. Not only does this link to biology, but there is also an element of science behind using a camera to capture an image or depicting perspective on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.
The Last Word
Science is a key part of STEAM education, teaching students important critical thinking skills, as well as a structured method for testing theories and evaluating evidence. Best of all, many of these skills are transferable, allowing them to be used not only in other STEAM fields but also in everyday life, too.
There is strong demand within the workforce for individuals with science-based qualifications and abilities, and this is another major reason why the importance of science should not be underestimated.
If you missed our introductory article on this topic, please feel free to read STEAM Education: Preparing All Students for the Future, or head to the ViewSonic Education page for further insights into education in the modern classroom.