STEM, STEAM, and makerspaces are important--as evidenced by this female student and her 3D printing project.

STEM, STEAM, and makerspaces–oh my!

Learn how three increasingly important components of a 21st-century education--STEM, STEAM, and makerspaces--are helping students get a leg up on global competition

By now, we’ve all heard about STEM, the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math education. Most people have heard of STEAM, which includes arts education along with STEM and allows students to be more creative in their exploration of more technical subjects.

And it’s not a far leap to assume a lot of educators are familiar with makerspaces, which offer open-ended creative spaces for students to explore these concepts as they engage in project-based learning or attempt to solve real-world challenges.

But how are these three things impacting classrooms and the students in them?


When students engage in STEM and STEAM learning, they’re building skills that will make them more marketable as employees in an economy that increasingly demands STEM proficiency.

Many of the jobs today’s students will have don’t presently exist, but most industry leaders agree that these future jobs will require STEM skills and the ability to work collaboratively in a STEM-focused workforce.

Research says the earlier students engage in STEM, the better–a 2019 Brainly study notes that 84 percent of people in a survey say they believe an educational background in STEM makes someone more hireable, and 76 percent say people with STEM backgrounds earn higher salaries than those with traditional educational backgrounds.

Sixty-three percent of people in the same survey say they prefer STEAM learning methods over STEM learning methods.

The group 100Kin10, which works to address the nation’s STEM teacher shortage by training and supporting new STEM teachers, emphasizes supporting students–especially students of color–by recruiting and supporting STEM teachers of color.

Related Content:

eSchool News STEM, STEAM, & Makerspaces Guide

The eSchool News STEM, STEAM, & Makerspaces Guide is here! It features strategies to help you integrate STEM, STEAM, and makerspace education into classrooms, and it offers a look at how these tools engage students and give them valuable skills. A new eSchool News Guide will launch each month–don’t miss a single one!

Laura Ascione

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