Tuesday, November 29, 2011

STEM & STEAM - Interesting Nonfiction for Kids

By now, most of us have heard of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In October, the YALSA YA Forum held a STEM discussion and there are several ALA STEM events scheduled. In announcing his "Educate to Innovate" campaign, President Obama said, “Reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation is essential to meeting the challenges of this century. That’s why I am committed to making the improvement of STEM education over the next decade a national priority.” (November 2009)
All over the internet, I have heard about public and school libraries investing in STEM books. One librarian said that she "ordered thousands of STEM books (fiction and nonfiction)". Where can a list of  STEM nonfiction books be found? Just look over to the right ☛.
There's a great list of STEM books. ☛
Also, check out STEM Friday started by Anastasia Suen. On the STEM Friday website check out the host each week for a list of great STEM books.

The new word in town is STEAM. Due to the outcry of the lack of Art and Creativity in the STEM acronym, the education community has been building STEAM.
Art + Design + STEM = STEAM
You can read about STEAM here:

Stem to Steam.org
Stem or Steam?

Let's hear it for those interesting Art and Design nonfiction books for kids.

I jumped on the STEM bandwagon a while ago shouting
STEM + creativity = IDEAS
because we all know that the ideas of our children are the future.

The STEM infographic below says it all. (Click to see larger.)

STEM Education
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media


Unknown said...

Love the STEAM acronym and the meaning behind it. I always thought it was weird to teach the arts in isolation from substantive topics when the combination can be so engaging and memorable for students and teachers alike. Full STEAM ahead!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning STEM Friday! I'd love to have some INKers as hosts in 2012! :D

lvharris said...

STEAM! Yes, love the new acronym. Remember, steam provides power and energy.

Anonymous said...

As a mom to two very curious and science-oriented boys, I am always heartened to hear of efforts to bring science back into the classroom in an interesting and hands-on way. Just this morning, the boys refused to leave the library without visiting the science section. Still, as you note, science can't work in isolation. A big part of engineering and technology is design (and, yes, art!). Here, here for efforts to marry the them all.

Melissa Stewart said...

In my work with students and scientists, I've seen strong correlations between natural ability in engineering and art as well as physics and music. So I'm with Loreen. Full STEAM ahead!

Rosalyn Schanzer said...

The great artist Leonardo da Vinci was an equally outstanding scientist whose art was inseparable from his scientific endeavors. He used art to help explain all kinds of scientific ideas, to show how his inventions worked, and to record such matters for posterity in his hand-drawn scientific notebooks. Multi-talented Benjamin Franklin drew pictures of all his inventions as well, and throughout history, artists around the world have portrayed its wildlife in beautiful but technically oriented pictures and have drawn medical procedures that could never be shown clearly in any photograph. What a great teaching tool!! And technical art aside, we need all the creativity we can get to keep ahead of the curve in math and science; creativity is the very definition of the arts. And besides, everyone loves art, music, dance, and the rest--what better aids to teaching and remembering could there ever be?. So YES TO STEAM.

Sue Heavenrich said...

A note on STEM and Art.
First, an invitation to come over and visit Archimedes Notebook (http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com/2011/12/stem-friday-prairie-storms.html)for a STEM roundup where you'll see some good art.

Second - a comment on the importance of art in science and engineering. My son (now a college senior majoring in Engineering) grew up with lots of colored pencils, sketch books and legos. In high school he went from art class to architectural design to CADD, and as he says - it's all connected.