STEAM (not the kind that powered our great ancestor’s train rides) is changing the future of technology education by combining Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STEAM is a way to combine these different subjects in the classroom, aiming to guide students to become innovative and strategic thinkers by using technology. So many of these disciplines overlap one another such as math and engineering, science and technology, art and technology, and all combinations in between. Bringing STEAM into the classroom is driving tomorrow. Creativity and imagination are going to challenge students to better healthcare, military, and technology.
If you take a step back to 15 years ago when Arduino was first introduced to the world. Many people thought it wasn’t going to last. How can one open source company have a product that can be programmed for free? No need for expensive programming software, compilers, or de-buggers. It must be too good to be true. It was a pivotal point in time where the barrier to entry was being reduced drastically. In the video, Sina Booeshanghi talks about building highly accurate experimental pumps for $30 instead of $5000 by using an Arduino and a stepper motor driver to accurately dispense product. There was no way to do this 15 years ago. The only option was in a high-tech lab with very expensive equipment. But today, you can jump on digikey.com and grab an Arduino to create ground-breaking solutions. Coupled with a 3d printer, what else could you need for rapid prototyping?
Art is the most recent letter added to the STEAM acronym. Many people didn’t think art was involved with technology, but now we are seeing embedded designs integrated with art everywhere. Building products that can create sounds or visual lights, or accenting wearables to draw more attention and tell a story have given art a place in technology education. When a student writes code for the first time, compiles it to an Arduino board, and a light turns on, the look on their face is proof of how inspiring teaching STEAM can be.
We all know technology is moving faster than we could have ever imagined, but what is the next 15 years going to look like? The more we are teaching STEAM values in the classroom and using products such as Arduino, the more we are going to see younger generations creating amazing things and solving the world’s problems faster. I am excited to be a part of the generation of change.