Many Southern Nevadans appreciate the importance of STEM, an educational focus on science, technology, engineering and math. But some might not be as familiar with STEAM, an initiative increasingly adopted by institutions, educators and organizations to incorporate the arts into teaching all subjects.
National STEAM Day is on November 8, marking the perfect time to raise awareness. Nonprofit The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas strongly promotes STEAM in many of its education and outreach programs, including its Southern Nevada Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts program, which trains local preschool educators to incorporate, music, movement and drama into all of their lessons.
According to a study by Lesley University, integrating the arts into classroom teaching increases student engagement and overall interest in learning.
Intrigued? Below are just a few tips on incorporating the arts into teaching children.
Children like to move, so why fight it? The Smith Center’s teaching artists who work in local classrooms often encourage young students to stand up and act out lessons, such as portraying characters in a book or even miming a scientific process. This not only helps keep children engaged, but promotes their retention of the material.
Creating music can involve math in many ways, and playing instruments in class can help make lessons more fun and accessible. For example, some Smith Center teaching artists incorporate drumming in the classroom to help teach preschool students patterns and counting.
Pursue Art Projects that Include STEM
There are numerous art forms that involve STEM, and engaging in these provides an opportunity to make STEM subjects more approachable. The Smith Center is partnering with Domsky Glass in Las Vegas, for instance, on workshops that introduce Southern Nevada students to the art of glass-blowing techniques, while also discussing the science and math behind the process.
STEAM education can happen both at school and at home! The Smith Center hopes to see families and educators across Southern Nevada apply the arts to broadening students’ education.
For more information about The Smith Center’s Education and Outreach programs, visit www.TheSmithCenter.com.
The above content was contributed by The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.