Musings and Strategies From the Teachers Next Door

Posts tagged ‘STEAM’

STEM, STEAM, STREAM….What is in an Acronym?



STEM hands


I admit it. Yes, I love literature, plays, books, movies, musicals, ballet, art. It has been apparent since my first blog post that I am an admitted word geek. Many of you may be wondering, as my husband wondered aloud yesterday, why are you teaching math and science? Wouldn’t you enjoy teaching ELA? Reading?


As much as I enjoy an eloquently spoken poem or an art or music piece that evokes emotion, I love the world of numbers. I love to play games, I love to see how the world works around me. It is a new found joy that, as an adult, I have come to realize that I missed a lot while growing up. I wasn’t the kid who naturally thought of numbers or enjoyed solving complex algorithms, and really it was because of how the subject was presented to me. Science was ok, but I had talked myself into being a fan of ELA. It was easy, so I stuck myself in that category.

Because of my struggle with math and science, I feel better suited to teach those subjects. I know where the kids are coming from who don’t understand. I can empathize with them and that connects us on a certain level. So that’s what I am. I am a teacher of math and science….or am I?

Enter STEM. My dream come true. Wait, maybe STEAM is my dream come true….STREAM? STEMM?… I found this article written by Vince Bertram. He points out that STEM, STEAM, STREAM, etc. regardless of the acronym, is an integration of ALL of the subjects. I get to teach them ALL from my math and science room! This article really points out how in the “real world”, it is all intertwined. The graphic artist…such talent! But really without technology, math, and science, could that artist be as great? If we battle over the letters in an acronym, aren’t we just really missing the point?

I am glad for this time of year at school. Testing is over. We start to accelerate students and get them ready for the year to come. I see many problems being solved, new ideas being sown, created, invented…brought to fruition. Genius hours are close at hand! I can’t wait!

So, at the end of the day, if I were JUST an ELA teacher, JUST a math teacher, JUST a science teacher…I wouldn’t be nearly as passionate about what I do as a STEM enthusiast! I get to teach it all…all wrapped up into one. Which isn’t just better for me…the students seamlessly think of all different disciplines while solving a problem without even realizing it! That not only makes them better students, it makes them better contributors to society regardless of their desired future profession! And yet I am left to wonder…why haven’t we all adopted this strategy into our classrooms? Why are educators so reluctant to change? Why isn’t everyone as excited about this prospect as I am? I have some ideas…but those are thoughts for another day.


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