STEM is a vital component of 21st-century education. At Northside Christian Academy, we expand upon the core disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — emphasizing the role art plays in developing students as critical thinkers. This is why our program acronym is “STEAM.” The arts fit seamlessly into the STEM world and provide a well-rounded education.
As a college-preparatory school, it is our job to prepare students for higher learning, and ultimately for successful careers. Today’s leading fields require skills such as innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Over the next 10 years, we can expect to see upwards of 80 percent of all careers demand these skills.
A gap has been identified in America. There are plenty of jobs in the STEAM fields, but not enough qualified graduates to enter them. Some say this is because students view subjects such as math and engineering too difficult, and others say there is not enough interest.
At NCA, we are changing the way students approach these subjects.
Our hands-on curriculum introduces STEAM disciplines in a meaningful way. As students explore challenging content, they see how it is relevant to the real world, and they are energized by the opportunity to make a tangible difference through problem-solving.
Integrating the Arts
An article by John Tarnoff summarizes our position that the arts are integral.
“There is certainly no question that STEM education and STEM skills are a vital part of this country’s edge, but many educators would argue that STEM is missing a key set of creativity-related components that are equally critical to fostering a competitive and innovative workforce, and those skills are summarized under the letter “A” for Arts.”
Adding art to the mix allows students to take their creative skills and apply them like never before. After all, innovation is always driven by good design. Tarnoff’s article said it best:
“Where would Apple be without the killer visual design of their products, their attention-grabbing ad campaigns, the seductive ease of their interface design? Without the “A,” there would be no outlet for all the S,T,E or M.”
Training Future Leaders
As we look at the future of our country, there is no doubt that we need both technical and creative skills. Giving our students a strong STEAM education makes them competitive, innovative, and equipped to thrive in the 21st century. Better yet, they might just change the world.