“STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real- world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy (Tsupros, 2009).”

STEM education offers students one of the best opportunities to make sense of the world holistically, rather than in bits and pieces. It’s research-evidenced that STEM education removes the traditional barriers created between the four disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths), by integrating them into one cohesive teaching and learning paradigm.

So that’s the STEM, why and how is STEAM came into the picture then? To gain a bigger perspective of STEAM, we first need to understand what is Art and how Art is playing a critical role in children education.

Our center, “The Little Makers” believes that we need both sides of the equation, marrying the technical side of “STEM” with the “Art” side of creativity, and thus we pioneering STEAM education in Malaysia.

✅ “Creativity encourages the children to try different approaches and path, design is the choice they made to decide which one to keep”.

✅ STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts.

✅ With this, our syllables have started to guide arts/creativity into science/math/engineering-related projects, in school programs, holiday events, classes in Maker’s Lab and our Maker’s kit.

“Do you know? Art, is something that is inspired by profound?”

“Do you know? Some of the best works in history were created from Art?”

“Do you know? Art is critical in crafting a child to think?”

1. Art releases self-acceptance – Arts gives the child opportunity to showcase talent – It shows something special about him / her. Whether it is an engineering project, a new technology gadget, a science discovery, a sketch, a story telling or just a new way of doing things. Art is created genuinely as if it’s our own, it’s the art novelty that highly increases our own self-acceptance.

2. Art boosts confidence – Participating in the arts and making new creation often encourage the children to step out of their comfort zone. When improvement is noticed, children see their own progress, self-confidence will then be grown.

3. Art facilitates self-expressed – Children are able to express themselves. A true artist will not shy away from the powerful emotions and experiences, as art helps to flow message, emotion and thoughts.

4. Art promotes creative thinking – Arts helps children to express themselves better than a logical Math / Science. The design thinking or creative thinking the children have pursued since preschool or elementary level, the thoughts process will come naturally to them now and then in their future career.

5. Art improves kid’s performance – Learning how to make choices and decisions will certainly be a valuable skill in life. Focus thinking and critical thinking that the children learn will also spill over into academic achievement. 6. Art gives us joy – Art generates happiness, it’s a positive energy release towards something favourable that one has produced

In our experiences as a driver in STEAM education, sitting on both sides of the creative/technology fence. The moment we have incorporated “Art” side of creativity into STEM syllables, our creations are ready to innovate to a much further scale. The results showed – children started to be actively in brainstorming, problem-solving, collaboration and communication on new ideas. This phenomena is fascinating, and that’s what has defined us, “The Little Makers” (a STEAM Educator).

Do connect with us at “The Little Makers” FB https://www.facebook.com/steam.com.my/