STEM subjects are well established as an important focus in education from primary schools to higher education establishments and a driving force for preparing young people to enter the workplace.
In the last couple of years there has been a push to update the acronym to STEAM with the addition of ‘Art’ to the curriculum to promote creative solution skills. But the EU’s Erasmus + project has launched a campaign to go further and update to STEAME – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Entrepreneurship.
According to NESTA, incorporating enterprise into the curriculum leads to higher employability, improved entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in students, as well as greater engagement of teachers. Crucially the benefits are greater when it is a regular part of the curriculum from primary school age. A study conducted in Sweden found that 16 year olds who completed year long projects were more likely to start a business later in life. Another study in the Netherlands found entrepreneurial skills could be boosted even by doing a 1 week project with 11-12 years.
At Phosphor we follow the STEAME principles in both our STEM Activity Boxes and Resource Subscription articles. And not just because it will hopefully prepare students for the workplace, much further down the line – but because it gets great engagement in the classroom! I’ve been running an afterschool STEM Club at a local primary school and have seen first hand how STEAME principles allow children to further investigate their own passions and interests – while picking up a few new skills along the way.