STEAM versus STEM?


How to connect human senses with jobs and careers? That was the challenge taken up by a French public organization called CCI, with roughly means the Chamber of the Commerce and Industry. Each year this organization manages to bring together students and entrepreneurs around workshops.

During this year sessions, we talked about the five human senses: Hearing, sight, taste, smell and touch; then, in order to draw the students’ attention towards careers that they might had never thought before, we linked senses with science and with the latest developments in technology. These were the goals set by the organizers. Personally, I was excited to see how they would manage to mix common senses, so to speak, with STEM career.

So, on a beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon, my class and I set off from the Lycée and headed straight to the venue. After a warm welcome, pancakes and drinks were offered. It can’t get any better than this! That was our first footstep into the Wonderful World of Senses.

We started our journey with a self-employed coffee roaster, who gave us an insight into his trading activities. He talked about the different techniques and coffee selections, and moved to great explanations about how our taste buds are excited. And that was exactly what I was expecting.

In fact, what makes this event so interesting is that every single person conducting the workshops strives to help the event goers understand the scientific aspect that is at stake. Another workshop talked us through the chemistry of making cakes and pastry.

Then, we moved on to the touch sense. Here, an osteopath went on talking about the mechanic of the body and how it reacts to stress and strain. We, then, were told about the perfect recipe for building materials so as to make the environment less harmful for our ears. He went on talking about the extraction of raw materials in a more sustainable way. Finally, someone working at METIS explained how nanotechnology is being used.

But what was really stunning were the beautiful close-ups taken from some applications. We really couldn’t believe that those were real pictures. This makes me think that we shouldn’t talk only about STEM but about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). In fact, Art and Aesthetics should be taken into account and not be set aside or overlooked. In a world where communication is gaining ground every day, wouldn’t we be better off talking about the beauty of some mathematical formula or of other theories? Nature has tried hard to display things in a beautiful way. Wouldn’t it make sense to bring Aesthetic around any scientific subject matter? Art and Aesthetics should be taught in every STEM lesson.

To wrap this meeting up, we gathered together and interacted with all the stakeholders. Students went back to school, filled with new fresh perspectives about what the future would have in store for them, focusing on STEAM from then on. Art attacks shouldn’t be afraid of, anymore.

Article written by: Philippe Vignat, Scientix Deputy Ambassador

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2 Responses to “STEAM versus STEM?”

  1. pete says:

    Great! Even though it’s been around us for years, it’s getting even more popular and should be taken into account

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