In a Cultural Learning Alliance Briefing Paper published with Nesta, the importance of Arts into Science Technology Engineering and Maths, known as STEAM, is clearly described.
Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, stated ‘Cultural education is integral to the happiness of our children and their families; to the strength of our communities and to the economic progress and international standing of our country. It turns STEM into STEAM: it fires the curriculum and creates individuals who are more inquisitive, persistent, imaginative, disciplined and collaborative.’
And it impacts society as a whole. It is now widely accepted that employers value employees with 21st-century skills – a mix of cognitive and personal skills, like creativity and collaboration – as well as content knowledge.
Research by the University of Sussex for Nesta found that firms that combine arts and STEM skills are more likely to bring radical innovations to market
‘The Arts are the catalyst not just for the creative industries, but for all industry, from engineering to automotive to advertising.’ Ian Livingstone CBE & Shahneila Saeed, Hacking the Curriculum (2017)
‘Businesses are clear that first and foremost they want to recruit young people with attitudes and attributes such as resilience, enthusiasm and creativity.’ The Right Combination CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey (2016)
Ways to engage young people
The Creation Station has developed a creative innovative STEAM programme for schools, and early years to support engagement and interest in these areas from a young age. The hands-on activities help children explore, discover and develop their understanding and problem- solving skills. With a major shortage of women in STEM industries, we are working to engage more girls in STEAM workshops.
The Edge Foundation’s report, The Skills Mismatch, has highlighted the shortage of STEM-trained young people entering the workforce. Young people surveyed about their career aspirations by the Education and Employers Taskforce in 2013 did not express any interest in STEM careers (Mann, et al. 2013). STEAM could help to reverse this trend, motivating and engaging young people in STEM subjects.
‘A highly skilled and talented workforce is the basis of our hugely successful creative industries. These creative and technical skills are also key to growth in sectors such as engineering, automotive and aerospace.’ Creative Industries Federation, A Blueprint for Growth (2017)
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