STEAM Focused School

Thursday, June 20, 2019

What’s the Difference Between STEAM and STEM?

Careers in science and engineering are expected to grow at a faster projected rate than all other U.S. jobs. As a result, schools across America have been incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into subjects to prepare students for the future. Students need more in-depth knowledge in math and science and the ability to apply that knowledge to solve complex problems. STEM programs help students develop much-needed skills such as problem-solving, and critical and logical thinking that will help them succeed academically and professionally.

With the added emphasis on STEM, the arts have been taking a back seat to science. However, the arts, both fine and performing, are just as important and play an integral role in developing a student’s creativity, confidence, decision making and much more.

STEAM Benefits

Now, we are seeing a resurgence of schools incorporating the arts into their STEM program to create STEAM programs. There are many benefits of having arts in a STEM program. Research conducted by the University of Florida has shown that students who take four years of music and art classes while in high school score 98 points better on their SAT than students who only took one half-year or less.

An academic program rich in science and technology, as well as the arts, provides students with a well-rounded education.

PVSchools' First STEAM-Focused School

Desert Shadows Elementary is proud to be the first school within the Pleasant Valley School District to incorporate STEAM into our education approach. Our first step towards STEAM integration was in the 2014-15 school year, when we added our violin program Suzuki Strings into the curriculum.

“Transitioning from an arts program to a STEAM program was a natural progression for the school and many factors were considered such as the STEM-related classes offered at our feeder middle school, Desert Shadow Middle, and the opportunity for a future partnership with the Center for Research, Engineering, Science and Technology program at Paradise Valley High School. We’re extremely fortunate to have a partnership with the Arizona Science Center to implement our STEAM program,” said Mr. Caudle.

We’re excited to see other schools join the STEAM movement, as well as witness our students achieve the best possible education at Desert Shadows.