2020: Full STEAM Ahead

January’s issue comes with a pullout section about the importance of and opportunities in STEM/STEAM education.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Add an “A” for art, and you get STEAM.

If you are anywhere near my age bracket, you’re likely thinking, “Didn’t I have most of those classes in school?”

What’s different from my school days? Rather than teaching them separately, students apply the disciplines together to tackle problems. The approach starts with the youngest students and helps teach computational thinking and attract underrepresented populations, including girls, according to livescience.com. Check Pages B10-11 for stories about efforts to draw girls into STEAM careers.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area, with the seventh-highest concentration of high-tech jobs in the U.S. — 252,650 – will need an increasing number of STEAM-trained workers to meet the demands, according to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Area universities, including SMU and UT Dallas, prepare teachers to apply STEAM approaches in grade school classrooms.

In 2019, I heard Marc Christensen, dean of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at SMU, speak to the Rotary Club of Park Cities about research to create imaging technology that could someday allow U.S. soldiers to see safely around corners as if using a mirror.

“We have, in a sense, turned science fiction into nonfiction,” he said.

That story is not in this issue, but one on Page B12 looks at how SMU, Dallas ISD, and Toyota USA Foundation will create in West Dallas a STEM campus meant to serve as a model for future schools.

We could have devoted the entire section to only what SMU is doing and not had enough space to tackle all of the great work.

Fortunately, we are planning on making STEAM a priority, so watch for more STEAM stories in the months ahead and another special section next January.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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