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Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 14 Aug 2019

STEM vs STEAM Hero Image

The importance of teaching STEM based subjects in schools is extremely high, especially because of the industry skill gap. By allowing children at a young age to be exposed to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical subjects, hopefully they will show an interest in them and lead them to engineering careers in the future. STEAM however, integrates the idea of adding the arts into the mix. STEAM investigates the same ideas as STEM but adds the idea of learning through problem-based learning used in a creative process. Combining science and art allows people to find creative ways around their problems. It allows young people to learn creatively, opening the horizon for young people that may not learn in the conventional way.

Importance of the arts

Adding the arts element into STEM subjects allows young people to learn creatively. Considering not everyone learns in the exact same way, this can help inspire more young people to pursue engineering and technology careers. By introducing the arts and humanities, you are opening opportunities for a wider range of children. Arts can be used to increase productivity in so many aspects of engineering.


Design is a very important part of engineering. In order for new ideas to develop and existing ideas to progress, there needs to be some element of design. Engineers need to know how it will look and how it will work and a lot of that is down to the design and how they chose to progress forward with the idea or product. The engineers that spend their time designing for projects need to have some sense of creativity and artistic flair. The more young people are taught to be creative and come up with their own ideas, the better their future ideas may be. Sometimes, children look for direction and they copy what they see. But teaching them to be new and artistic will lead them to come up with new ideas themselves – creative design is how the engineering industry evolves.


Being able to plan and think about ways to overcome problems they may have with a project will be very important to any future engineers. Sometimes there is no easy way out, so having the ability to think outside the box and come up with new ways to do things, there can continue to be advances in technology.


Art subjects such as drama can help young people work well in a team. In a performance, everyone’s end goal is similar, to put on the show and make it good. They will need to work together to figure out timings, remember words and overall, the cast will ideally get to know each other a bit. Teamwork has endless positive effects on any team and sometimes engineering can be a difficult job to have, it’s extremely important to have a team you trust and are all on the same page to achieving that one goal.

How can STEAM help more young people get involved in STEM based subjects?

By including creative elements into STEM based subjects allows for children to learn to overcome problems in their studies with creative solutions. Some young people, that may be naturally more creative, may feel like they are included and can see themselves enjoying these types of subjects.

From a young person’s perspective, at first glance, STEM subjects may not always look like the most interesting. By implementing creative elements into lessons and projects, more children are likely to not only get involved by enjoy learning.