Education has asserted a recent debate over the importance of including arts into the standardized educational system. Over the past decade with ever increasing budgetary cuts to education, schools have had to make tough decisions regarding their curriculum; sustaining the priority of technology and the sciences, and consequently reducing the arts. This shift has stirred up a conversation on the continuing importance of arts education within our schools and beyond. The current acronym for the frequently accepted education system is STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In more recent years, "Art" has been added, repositioning the acronym to STEAM. This change in wordage however is merely a concept that requires action.
Arts education spans a vast definition, including that of performing arts, visual arts, music and design. Studying these practices have shown time and again how they allow individuals to improve on numerous elements of thinking, communication and problem solving. With the rise of science-based fields that require these very factors, art museums, schools and other educational institutions are providing more opportunities for children to experience art alongside science. Denver Art Museum has designed a "maker's space" entitled Design Lab, that promotes daily interactive participation through "design challenges", an opportunity for a child to utilize math, science and art all in order to create a solution to a design problem. This process allows the child to imagine and use skills associated with all elements of STEAM to complete the project. This is just one example of the many programs that institutions are establishing to showcase the importance of STEAM and its rightful place within standardized education. This connection between science, math and technology to art helps to enable the creative and innovative young mind, but also expands the use of problem solving and communication, allowing for an overall stronger development of STEAM.
Title image: Wall at Newark Museum's Makerspace