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STEAM: Secrets of an Innovative Technique

The development of STEAM is one of the main trends in world education currently. The abbreviation seems large and complex, but if you look, everything is clear: S – science, T – technology, E – engineering, A – art, M – mathematics. These are the disciplines that are becoming the most popular in the modern world. Places where classes are held by this technique can be succinctly called technical creativity clubs for children.

It is no secret that in order to be successful in most professions, the integration of the maximum number of skills is necessary. But how to prepare for this the children who are now being taught in programs where the connection between the subjects is not visible? Right! STEAM can help with this.

This technique initially implies a mixed learning environment and shows students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. STEAM is one of the areas for the implementation of design and educational research activities at and outside the school. Here, the curriculum is based on the idea of ​​teaching students using an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Instead of studying each of the five disciplines separately, STEAM integrates them into a single training scheme.

In addition to linking subjects to real life, this approach opens up opportunities for student creativity. With this approach the project activity of younger students creates a number of tasks that need to be solved.The only correct solution is not, the student is given complete freedom of creativity. With the help of such tasks, the child not only generates interesting ideas, but also immediately brings them to life. Thus, he learns to plan his activities based on the task and the available resources, which will be useful to him in real life.   

Also, one of the main postulates of STEAM education is training in small groups. For example, in robotics classes, two students work at one computer and assemble one constructor. This is not done to save educational materials. This approach involves teaching children to cooperate,  helping children learn to work in a team, develop communication skills, work in a group.

Why is STEAM so popular right now? Problems with deterioration of quality of education in the field of exact Sciences, motivation of students, quantity and quality of teachers, are global. This is a market problem because employers are willing to pay professionals well, but schoolchildren and students do not want to choose such subjects as basic. THAT is why business education is becoming a priority in countries where high-tech production is developing. The urgent need for scientific and engineering personnel is recognized by both the state, focused on technological progress and the growth of the innovative economy, and IT companies.

In many countries, business education is a priority for the following reasons:

- In the near future in the world and in Cyprus will be sharply lacking: IT-specialists, programmers, engineers, specialists of high-tech industries.

- In the distant future, there will be professions that are now even difficult to imagine, all of them will be associated with technology and high-tech production at the junction with the natural Sciences. Specialists of bio-and nanotechnologies will be especially in demand.

- Professionals of the future require comprehensive training and knowledge from a variety of educational fields of natural Sciences, engineering and technology.

STEAM is similar to the techniques used previously. The philosophy of ONLINE education is based on the old approaches of teaching children professions at work lessons, only the tools and methods of training have changed. So students, in addition to physics and mathematics, learn robotics, programming, when they design and program their own robots. The classes use special technological laboratory and educational equipment, such as 3D-printers, visualization tools, etc.

The effectiveness and relevance of this technique is confirmed by the use of STEAM in many countries. For example, Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Israel, Korea, Singapore, the United States conduct government programs in the field OF online education. In Russia, too, understand this problem – open centers of technical support for education, which partially solve the problem of attracting students to engineering and robotics. Business companies are actively involved in the implementation of projects of subject-oriented education of children and students, which confirms the correctness of this strategy in education. Kazakhstan has also been reforming secondary school education since 2015. The U.S. has a national program to train 100,000 teachers in EDUCATION over the next 10 years.

In Israel, a pilot initiative has been launched – – in addition to the final exam, which children take at the end of school, they conduct mandatory research work. Such scientific work students do under the guidance of a tutor-student or candidate of Sciences (PhD) from the University. Also, since 2015, the national educational program of Israel has established that 70% of the time students study traditionally, and 30% of the time is devoted to research.

STEAM-education in Cyprus. It does not develop so quickly, but also does not stand still. Now the strengthened introduction of STEAM is engaged mainly on personal initiative, and it receives the greatest distribution in the sphere of children's additional education. The brightest representatives who have implemented this system in their training courses are the clubs of children's robotics

In the «" School of robotics " » we began to implement STEAM 3 years ago, as soon as they appeared on the market. Even then, we were sure that this innovative system is new in education. Yes, the new is not always better than the old, but we have been testing the effectiveness of STEAM for years. Our curriculum, which we compiled ourselves based on Lego developments, is constantly improving. It is adapted to the peculiarities of our education system, echoes it. The best proof of the effectiveness of our work - worthy prizes at international competitions. The most prestigious of them is the world robot Olympiad (WRO). In the first year of the "School of robotics" we took the best students from all over Belarus to Sochi, where the games were held WRO-2015. Our guys have done a serious job and in all categories were able to perform adequately, taking positions in the top half of the standings. And the second Olympics for us, held in Doha, Qatar, made it clear that work was done on mistakes: the guys from Belarus stopped a step from the podium, taking fourth place in one of the categories. Now we are waiting for the next competition. Students of the«" School of robotics "» and many other clubs around the country are preparing for qualifying competitions. We hope that our guys will demonstrate first-class skills and take deserved places in the top three. How to apply STEAM methods in your school? You can just cooperate with us. We will help to organize the presentation of courses for children, give kits, train a teacher and help to create a robotics club.

The wider spread of STEAM in Cyprus can contribute to the fact that many of the guys will not go to the fashionable lawyers-economists, and will choose the path of a scientist, inventor or fond of programming.

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