STEM, shorthand for the state’s educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math, should become STEAM with an A for arts, Rep. Kay Khan told the Committee on Education Thursday.
The focus on STEM education has driven funding for STEM projects, such as the $36 million science building at Cape Cod Community College that Gov. Deval Patrick announced funding for this week.
Khan’s bill (H 2994) would establish a nine-member commission to look at what would need to be done to include the arts in STEM education.
A Newton Democrat, Khan said the STEM to STEAM movement believes skills developed in arts and music education are “just as valuable” as those taught in science and math classrooms.
“These skills, which include creativity, confidence building, problem-solving, collaboration and effective communication, are fostered and cultivated through arts programs,” Khan said.
She said, “I think we’re seeing the diminishment of arts in our school system.” Khan said arts are also valuable because they make students want to go to school.
- A. Metzger/SHNS