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Columnist Calls for STEAM Push in Schools

STEM seems to be the main acronym that arises when speaking about the future of K-12 education. However, one columnist is making an argument for an added concentration in art, or "STEAM".

“Certainly the U.S. needs to keep its technical edge, and to qualify for skilled positions that are plentiful in the 21st century, the worker of the future will need to be fluent in math, science, and technology as we move to fill shortages in exploding areas like data engineering,” says Robert Buchsbaum, The Detroit News Columnist and CEO of Blick Art Materials.

However, Buchsbaum does believe that the arts and STEM can work hand-in-hand to enrich the overall educational curriculum nationwide.

“Industrial design, computer graphics, brainstorming, simple problem-solving — all can be fostered by exposure to the arts,” says Buchsbaum in his article.

Buchsbaum’s biggest case in his argument is the fact that technology might get a lot of the credit for innovation; however, creativity and arts are vital to breeding that innovation in the first place. The arts are essential to innovation, especially when it comes to aspects of design.

“Innovation in science, technology, engineering and math won’t come from merely pushing our students to study harder,” says Buchsbaum.

“Smart kids are not inspired to become innovators — and at-risk youth aren’t motivated to graduate from high school — simply by piling on more hours of science and math. The fundamentals are important, but engaging with the arts is a powerful way to inspire kids to learn and stimulate their curiosity.”

Buchsbaum is begging schools to keep the arts alive. Science and technology do deserve a lot of praise in innovation, but it’s certainly myopic to say that this success could be possible without creativity and design — key principles of the arts.

Read the full story and comment below.

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