Why are we pushing STEM and not STEAM??
I am a designer in a Science and Technology world. When I first got into my career, I was a graphic designer working for an engineering contracting company. Needless to say from this perspective as an “artist” I was looked down upon by the engineers, I felt like I wasn’t good enough or necessary because I was in the wrong niche. When I was given an opportunity in the right direction towards my chosen profession I realized that having a designer integrated with engineering is extremely NECESSARY!
As a designer in the science and technology field, it upsets me to see plans such as defunding the arts, and continue pushing STEM through funding rather than STEAM (Adding the Arts). Don’t get me wrong – I completely agree that it is imperative to get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, especially young girls; these are essential skills that are needed for our economic future. However, kids also need creative outlets and a full understanding on how the arts can be integrated together within these subjects.
We need designers within these fields because all artificial things are designed. Design is not just making things look aesthetically pleasing, it is understanding how the human is interacting with the object, space, or device and limiting frustration. Engineers often do not take into consideration that in practical use it can cause human error. This is where designers are needed, to combine both the understanding of the logical goals, and the human behavior. Those who go into the fields of art and design have an understanding of practical use on how art can function. It is an essential mix of how to use color, space, shape and form can affect a person from a physical and emotional level.
The arts go far beyond what is learned within the classroom . The movement of adding the Arts is not spending less time on these subjects to make room for art, it is about allowing students to have hands on activities that apply their imagination through creativity, problem solving and designing.
For our future generation, we need innovators and inventors who can think outside the box that can push the limits on what can be created and interpret how to make something better. I learned many basic skills throughout my artistic schooling that helped me to think outside the box and collaborate with others easily. By advocating that these programs are necessary we can all make a difference in contributing towards tomorrow.