Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. STEM an important trend in education since 2005. Like any trend, many people and companies jumped and are still jumping onto the band wagon. Is this bad? Certainly not. Is it wrong? Most definitely.

There are many who feel an all-out educational push in our schools will help America reclaim its place as the world leader in each if not all of those fields for our future generations. Something that seems to be painfully missing is the all important “A.” A for Arts. Performing and visual arts. Perhaps the best way to define it is the nurturing and encouragement of creativity.

The STEM Coalition has done an outstanding job of creating a sense of urgency in building programs in school districts across the nation. Many districts have found that the best way to jump start STEM is to borrow budget by cutting the arts in their schools. But, here’s the question. Once all those scientists, techies, engineers, and mathematicians perfect their skills what are they going to do with it? Who’s going to C R E A T E the NEXT…? Don’t we need the “out-of-the-box” thinker to see beyond what is here to…there? That’s where the Arts come into play.

For years I’ve used the analogy of Steve Jobs when talking about this subject. Who better represents the marriage of STEM and STEAM? Today more than ever I see the fallacy in the strict and narrow STEM approach. In fact, in my inbox today was a newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education corroborated my feelings. Our institutions of higher learning are calling for more emphasis on CREATIVITY. They are developing courses on creativity to be taught within science and business majors. Why, because after a number of years of seeing our STEM graduates in the workplace employers are recognizing the need for more out-of-the-box thinking!

We need to encourage our children of all ages to delve into the creative arts. To write, draw, act, dance, sing, and all the other avenues of the arts that support creativity. Dream…Create…Collaborate. These cross disciplines build the teamwork of success and bridge all walks of life. They build self-confidence, discipline, and problem-solving skills. They support every successful outcome.