STEM STEAM SMART what’s in a name?

From STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), to STEAM (incorporating arts) STEAMD (plus design) to SMART (science, maths and related disciplines) to just ‘the Sciences’ (as described in the 2017 Australian Government report as science, including medical science, earth science and mathematical sciences, and related disciplines such as engineering, technology). What do they all mean? Is one better than the other? How do you teach it? Why is it important?

I think the important things to consider are that:

  1. Students need a solid understanding of basic science and mathematics so participation and excellence in these core subjects should be promoted.
  2. Students need opportunities to be exposed to interdisciplinary approaches in their learning. Connections between subjects should be made.
  3. Students need opportunities to learn amd practice skills of communication, collaboration, project based work and enterprise in order to be successful workers in the future. School needs to provide these experiences.

    There is no one way to “do STEM” but approaches that are authentic and linked to industry seem most news worthy.


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