STEAM Education 101

STEAM Education 101

By ILK Post

   October 24, 2021

STEAM education method has been described as the "trend" leading the future of education. In 3 minutes of time, we will completely disassemble the 10 key points of STEAM education for you:

  1. The origin of STEAM Education

    In recent years, Hong Kong schools have begun to introduce and apply STEAM education, but what do you know about the origin and development history of STEAM education?

    Both STEM and STEAM originated in the United States. Until this year, STEAM is not only an education method in the United States but also the development direction of national competitive advantage in the next five years.

    In just a few years, the United States has changed from advocating STEM to developing STEAM. What are the reasons behind this?

    In fact, the origin of STEM stems from a new viewpoint put forward by the United States in order to review the direction of its compulsory education. The government noticed that the country is gradually showing weakness in engineering, and therefore proposed this policy. In 2015, they also observed that the inclusion of "art" (including dance, drama, music and visual arts) into the education system is also very important, so they formally introduced "STEAM Education".

  2. Traditional Education vs. STEAM Education

    Find it difficult to make your kid sit still? They are not good at memorizing?

    You might wonder, if this is something personal or is it the way the education system is wired?

    In August, the US government announced the promotion of STEAM education in the country. STEAM education has become more and more popular in recent years.  What are the key differences between STEAM education and the traditional Hong Kong education system?

    We analyzed and compared 2 education systems according to 5 categories, including:

  3. "Play" and learn with STEAM Education

    One of the main points of STEAM education is to let children "play" and learn. The so-called "playing" means "being brave to try and having fun." Every new attempt is a game and you are not afraid of making mistakes. Only through the courage to try and break the thinking of "right and wrong" can we truly combine learning with entertainment.

    Michelle Scratch, a children's program software launched by Mitchel Resnick, is one of the best examples. Scratch allows children to learn to design their own games, and programming is no longer a field that only professional programmers can get involved in. Even primary school students can learn programming languages from games through the graphical interface.

    Related Blog: Top 8 Benefits of Coding for Kids

  4. What ability does STEAM education nurture?

    It is often said that STEAM education is the major trend of future education. What ability can STEAM cultivate in children?

    STEAM education emphasizes a hands-on approach and problem-solving to cultivate children's internal comprehensive abilities through topic learning, including "inquiry ability", "critical thinking ability", "creative thinking ability", and "problem-solving ability".

    Failure is somehow inevitable in this learning method. STEAM encourages children to improve and learn from failures, try and explore persistently until they succeed. STEAM education method cultivates children's patience, willpower and the ability to withstand obstacles, and eventually learn to be responsible for themselves.

  5. How does STEAM education cultivate children's interest in learning?

    As discussed above, STEAM education can cultivate children's inherent comprehensive abilities. So how has this been done?

     In this technological era, as parents, we don’t keep all knowledge in mind— you can find the answer with a simple Google Search. Just like cooking, we don’t need to know the entire cooking process. We can simply search online and follow the recipe step by step to finish making delicious dishes. Similarly, why do we ask children to memorize and learn by rote? 

    STEAM education encourages children to:

    • Get hands-on to complete the projects they are interested in
    • Complete life-related projects
    • Learn various subjects and interdisciplinary knowledge
    • Integrate mathematics, art and technology: Let children learn about science and technology based on the logic of mathematics, while using handicrafts and art sense at the same time.

       Children can then find the joy of learning to make full use of the knowledge they have learned in their daily lives!

  6. S for Science - What is Science

    Being successful in science does not necessarily mean going to the laboratory to do experiments. In fact, every child is born to be a natural scientist.

    The category of science includes:

    1. Observing 
    2. Forming questions
    3. Making Prediction
    4. Designing
    5. Carrying out experiments
    6. Discussing

      If children go to the beach and build sandcastles, they go through all the above steps. They start by trying to build their castle, observe and learn from other castle structures during the construction process, revise the design repeatedly (on elements such as water flow, the height of the castle, etc.), experiment and consolidate their works.
  7. T for Technology: Learn science from skateboarding

    When it comes to technology, everyone will immediately think of terms such as telephone, computer, and big data. In fact, all artificially constructed objects we see in our daily lives are also part of technology.

     But what is technology in children's eyes?

     In the recent Tokyo Olympics Games, skateboarding, as one of the new competition items, attracted worldwide attention. Skateboarding is a relatively new sport, so the players are naturally younger. In the end, the gold medal was obtained by the 13-year-old Japanese girl, who became the youngest gold medal winner in history. In the sport of skateboarding, many scientific and technological principles are involved, such as: 

    • Cooperate with the human body motion theory and ingenious mechanics principles
    • Convert part of the person's twists into kinetic energy to make the move forward the skateboard 
    • Use an S line route to move forward for balance
    • Skaters rely on ground friction as their driving forces
    • To go up and down slopes, the skater needs to control the position of the more important leg
    • Measure how to make difficult turns at high altitude

       Next time when you are worried that your child will spend too much time playing, you might as well pay more attention to the logical reasoning behind toys and games. Maybe it will be a good motive for children to learn more scientific knowledge.

  8. E for Engineering: Learn engineering with LEGO®

    Whenever you hear the word engineering, it is easy to think of fields like software engineering, electronic engineering and construction engineering, etc. These all sound like something that is closely linked to numbers, which is kind of scary for many.

    In fact, in addition to calculations, people in engineering disciplines also consider elements including materials, design, production process, and construction details. Picking up engineering knowledge can make it easier for children to understand the structures and reasoning behind things.

     LEGO®, popular with all walks of life, can train players from an engineering perspective, in ways including:

    • Training creativity from design
    • Boost cooperation to create training team spirit
    • Improve communication skills from common goals
    • Enhance artistic beauty from color matching
    • Learn to accept opinions from different voices
    • Improve problem-solving ability from multiple failures


      Next time you consider buying toys, you might choose from intellectual games such as LEGO® to train children to become little engineers and improve their logical thinking.

  9. STEAM = STEM + Arts: Inspire innovation and creative thinking from art

    Thinking determines behavior patterns, and creative thinking is very important in the entire STEM education system.

     Imagine if scientists, technical developers, engineers, and mathematicians did not have innovative and creative thinking to develop tech products, now it would impossible for anyone to read this article on computers, mobile phones or tablets: we may still stay at The age of "Big Brother Phones".

     What influence does art have on children's learning?

    • The core of art is initiative and self-inspiration
    • Art is sensory exploration, which can stimulate children's senses in many ways
    • Art includes: music, painting, painting, drama
    • Parents can understand the inner world of children through art
    • Graffiti is a way for children to express themselves before reading or writing
    • Creative arts have been certified to support cognitive development and enhance self-confidence

      Art is an important part of inspiring children's creativity and initiative. Start today, learn to understand children's thinking and behavior patterns from art!
  10. 𝗠 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀: Learn Maths from Table Tennis

    1+1=2, 2+2=4, then 3+3 is equal to...?

     In fact, mathematics is not only about addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It also includes a person's sense of numbers and calculations, measurements, patterns, geometry, and even space!

     To give a simple example, everyone should have tried table tennis at least once in life. But did you know that after the Sydney Olympic Games, the diameter of a table tennis ball has been changed from 38mm to 40mm?

     What is the difference after adding 2mm?

    Does a 38mm ball or a 40mm ball have a higher speed?

     The calculation process of the answer is:

    • The 38mm ball has a lower radius and lower quality
    • The formula for the kinetic energy of a 38mm ball is K.E. = 1/2mv2, the energy is lower, and the overall speed should be lower
    • However, the 38mm ball has a lower radius, which can reduce wind resistance. The lower the wind resistance, the higher the speed.
    • Air resistance is one of the main factors that slow down the speed of table tennis

      All things considered, the 38mm ball is faster!

      Learning mathematics is not limited to books. As children grow up, they have many opportunities to explore mathematics all the time. For example, when they start to ask for "more" or "less", describing shapes, ordering, volume or distance, these are all signs of them getting to understand Mathematics concepts!


Want to start using the STEAM education method? Check out ILK Learning’s Course Catalog to find THE course for your kids! Feel free to reach out for more information on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram! We look forward to seeing your messages!

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