Week 12 Reflective Writing

I think the STEM vs STEAM debate has understandable basis but doesn’t really matter. Incorporating art has valid backing, since there are design and public speaking parts in science. There are barriers to participation in STEM for girls, and people of color (article), and the arts can be place for them to exist and be creative. The linking of science and art/design was really interesting to me. I’ve always been good at science and math, but I’ve also liked theater and music. Having it laid out to me that I can do science related stuff while also using creativity and design is a nice idea. It does make me wonder if the reason I like computer science so much is that its an intersection of science and creative problem solving. “With STEAM, the pressure is off to become a scientist or engineer—you can be a designer, digital artist, coder, art director, and scientist and engineer all at the same time” (article). Because I’m good at math, there’s always been an expectation that I’d go into some STEM field, and I don’t know if I want to. The idea that STEAM reduces that pressure seems like a big benefit.

A couple years ago I remember seeing something about the math and engineering behind outfits at the met gala. The math required to structure the dresses and make stripes look straight across a human body is insane. And yet I never put together the relationship between art and the sciences.

I think STEM might have originated as simply a category to explain what it was and maybe to focus on the lack of girls and diversity in STEM, but I feel like now it’s more like a clique. It’s become an enemy of the arts despite the overlap between the two. I think STEM should just be a category of skills but until society has more diversity and fewer barriers in STEM, we should include the arts.

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