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That ‘A’ is important

By now, many people have probably heard the term STEM often enough to know what it stands for: science, technology, engineering, and math.

For a decade or more, now, educators have said schools must focus heavily on those areas to prepare our students for the careers of the future.

Absolutely.

But, many other educators have said, we can’t let that hyper-focus on core curriculum take away from the lessons schools can provide to help students not only work in the future but enjoy the world around them.

We can’t forget the art, those educators said.

So the acronym at many schools has changed to STEAM, adding art to the mix, as News staff writer Crystal Nelson said happened at Alpena Public Schools with a recent summer school program in which APS partnered with Art in the Loft.

We’re thrilled to see that happen. That ‘A’ is important.

Technical skills and math are critical to our increasingly technological future, and we need those kinds of problem-solvers to help us overcome the challenges ahead.

Those skills help us live, but the arts make life worth living. We need storytellers and artists and musicians to bring quality to the life the engineers will make possible.

Plus, not every student will engage deeply with math or science, but might with the arts.

And, by combing those fields of study, the artist students will benefit from the kinds of problem-solving taught in the technical studies, while the technical students will benefit from the creativity taught in the arts.

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