By Bridgette Waldau

A growing number of schools are now incorporating teaching methods that are more in line with STEAM education, as it has become clear that arts education makes learning more fun and keeps children more engaged.

Incorporating the A in STEAM—art—brings in personal expression, empathy, meaning-making and the purpose of what you’re learning.

The STEAM movement is not an attempt to take away from STEM or its subject areas, but instead, the idea is to enhance the framework by invoking a greater sense of creativity. In addition, one of the objectives behind this movement is to entice students who might not otherwise consider a STEM job to do just that — by adding a focus on the arts and integrating all five disciplines in a creative way. It makes kids more well-rounded and opens them up to a vast number of new opportunities.

The idea is to teach kids that they don’t have to be only analytical or only creative — they can be both. To be successful both now and down the road, one must be both an analytical thinker and a creative thinker. STEAM shows kids they don’t have to pick one side of their brain over the other, but they can use both to solve almost any problem they face.