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Letter: STEM/STEAM helps students solve problems
First Published May 13 2014 03:57 pm • Last Updated May 13 2014 03:57 pm

Re "STEM education is good, but not good enough," Don Gale column in the May 10 Tribune. Very few educators would argue with that. A balanced approach will lead to a well educated child indeed.

However, Mr. Gale has underestimated the value of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (add arts). As a veteran educator, I have incorporated STEM/STEAM into my curriculum and seen the positive results.

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STEM does not ask students to come up with "a single scientific answer for every question." On the contrary, STEM encourages students to solve problems in multiple ways.

STEM teaches students to work together, share ideas, use one’s strengths and appreciate the strengths of others. Students become competent critical thinkers and learn invaluable communication skills and perseverance.

I’ve seen students come to the end of a problem, see the inadequacies in their own work, and begin from scratch, enthusiastically and without prompting. Students interact positively with all colleagues, regardless of social circle, background, ethnicity, etc. They eagerly engage in their learning and are able to defend their solutions.

Of course STEM/STEAM projects should not be the only way time is spent in school, but to deny its importance is selling our students short.

Pam Dahlkamp

Park City

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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