2. Emphasizes hands-on learning
The art-integrated framework gives students the chance to solve their own solutions to challenges by engaging in hands-on, experimental learning. STEAM projects often incorporate a variety of different materials and tools that encourage students to learn by practice, rather than learning by lecture.

More specifically, STEAM education assignments and projects consist of three elements: how something works, how to build it, and how to fix it, which all require hands-on experience. This develops the same crucial skills and establishes an equal playing field for all students regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or race.

3. Builds confidence
Another valuable component of the STEAM program is its impact on elementary-age students’ confidence. All students are different and vary in their educational boundaries, but with STEAM programs, every student learns the lesson at their own pace, with their own solutions—giving them the confidence they need to tackle the next challenge.

3 ways STEAM education is enhancing elementary learning. #STEM #edtech #k12

In addition, STEAM welcomes and encourages failure. Failing presents students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes in a safe place that will help breed new, creative, and more accurate solutions on their own. This process helps invoke confidence in students at each turn while inspiring them to constantly explore new paths.

STEM programs are valuable, but the critical process of creativity and innovation is missing when schools rely only on STEM education. Incorporating arts education through STEAM engages the right side of the brain—sparking creativity and imagination all the while gaining valuable knowledge through the core topics of science, technology, engineering, and math.

About the Author:

Rebecca Bersani is the STEAM instructor for grades 1-6 at the Blue Academy Elementary School, a part of the MSD of Decatur Township in Indianapolis, a nationally recognized school district that uses an innovative and personalized, small-learning community approach. Bersani believes a critical component to teaching is knowing each student and recognizing them as both individual learners and equal in a classroom. She has an undeniable passion for teaching and creativity in technology and is committed to fostering environments that encourage creativity.