What is STEAM education exactly?
STEAM education is a term that has been widely used in the education sector and in schools within Singapore, with an increasing number of schools placing focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics subjects in order to educate students to better prepare them for the workforce. The focus on these subjects was catapulted in recent years due to the advance of technology and the need for the future workforce to meet the demands of a technologically-dependent society, as companies grow to increase the number of STEAM-related positions.
As such, Singapore has even set up the School of Science and Technology for pre-tertiary students and a number of campuses for the Singapore Institute of Technology across the island for undergraduates. The former focuses on nurturing innovators to improve society through STEAM education while the latter focuses on providing students with specific courses that are vital to their respective fields of interest.
Why is STEAM Education Beneficial to Students?
With the continual advancement of technology at rapid speed, conventional skills that students learn in school might just be outdated by the time they graduate. By equipping them with STEAM-related skills to solve societal problems, it allows them to prepare for tech or automation-related careers that might not even exist now.
As STEAM education aims to prepare students for the workforce, it develops students to be able to take analysed risks, work effectively with others, build critical thinking skills and hone their creative minds. It can help develop them into all-rounder learners that possess the skills to become effective educators, researchers and innovators, and thus giving them a competitive edge when looking for jobs.
STEAM educated students will find themselves highly adaptable to different situations and be more open to different career opportunities in future, possibly fulfilling the manpower demand in Singapore’s Infocomm Technology sector and the green sector. In fact, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also shown his support for STEAM education. He also mentioned that as Singaporeans’ awareness for sustainability grows in the country, students with a background in STEAM subjects will be crucial in moving us towards sustainable practices in future.
How is STEAM Education Implemented in Schools?
While implementing STEAM education does not mean a complete overhaul of the existing curriculum, it includes a number of changes. Firstly, students will be exposed to specific scientific vocabulary that will help them get familiarised with scientific concepts in time to come. The Ministry of Education in Singapore has also arranged for students to use computers and iPad during lessons to help students get used to using technology for school and work in the future. Secondary schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute will also be mandated to implement blended learning (offline and online learning programmes) for students from 2021.
As for the creative aspect, students are encouraged to learn through storytelling by coming up with stories and creative solutions to solve modern-day problems. This involves starting with a hypothesis, developing methodological solutions and further exploration of solutions for the problem.
How Does Educational Robotics Play a Part in STEAM Education?
By introducing robotics to students for STEAM education, it can provide them with a multi-sensory and experiential learning experience. Since the robots can be programmed to complete a number of tasks, it allows students to understand how technology works and how its potential can be harnessed to solve real-world problems with the right idea.
Students will also be able to receive immediate feedback from the process of robotics programming that will require them to go with a hands-on approach to solving problems relating to both hardware and software. With constant trial and error, they will also be able to overcome the fear of failure with more practice.
Find out more about educational robotics by giving it a shot today. Find out how you can purchase a beginner robotics kit at Polaris Network to kickstart your child’s STEAM education journey today.