Back in May 2015, I wrote an article titled what is STEM is missing?, A year later, it seems to be gathering momentum, and more educators are feeling the same.

I’m exploring the Australian Outback at the moment, and to be honest, it’s massive. Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 12.11.44 PM

I’m currently sitting in a library in a small town called Millicent, it’s taken me an hour to drive here from where I’m staying in the outback, a place with no landline internet and a 30 minute drive to get a pint of milk.

I’ve travelled from the red circle to Millicent, a 150km round journey just to get internet and do work. And that’s an everyday occurrence in this area. Satellite broadband is incredibly slow, and occasionally available, mobile internet is the norm.

Sitting here in a great little library, listening to the elders of the community learn about technology and what they can do, it reminded me of meeting a community organiser in Mt Gambier yesterday.

Mt Gambier is a town in South Australia with a long history, being the second most populous town in South Australia. We were taking a tour of the local community centre, where I bumped into a lady unpacking a small fortune of Lego. South Australia are forward looking enough to close all the local schools for the day, and for educators to meet and hear from technologists and switched on people about bringing STEM into the classroom.

Excellent, I thought. More educators need to bring STEM into the classroom, setting the next generation up with the skills to handle an ever shrinking world.

What pleased me most talking to her, was that when I mentioned that we’re missing the A from STEM, she wholeheartedly agreed. Art is so important to our children. Much like knowing technology is important to our adults now, if our children aren’t taught that Art is much a part of their future, we’ll lose it. That’s why I want to reframe STEM to be STEAM – we have to make a conscious effort to ensure that all forms of art are as important to our children as Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. If you’d like to find out more, have a look at STEAM not STEM, or send me an email at greig@strafford.co.nz

I’d also like to thank Mr Mortensen for the image, if you’d like to see Mr Mortensen’s Class page on STEAM, click here

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