STEM, in education, refers to the learning disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEAM includes all of the previous disciplines but includes the Arts as well.
STEM and STEAM learning has been emphasized in education circles since it is regarded as the best way of preparing students to meet the needs of a 21st century economy. STEM alone, however, misses several key components that employers, educators and parents have decided are critical for children to achieve their best now and in the future.
STEAM, however, is an effective way to take the benefits of STEM learning and enhance it by integrating the principles of the arts: it takes STEM learning to the next level and enables students to connect technical skills to arts practices, elements, design principles and standards. This provides a more holistic approach to their learning that will enable them to more effectively operate in real-world environments when they go into the workforce.