STEAM - A NEW WAY OF INTERACTING IN SCHOOLS AND MUSEUMS
Uppdaterat: 28 aug. 2022
by Judith Barnés and Dani Zapater
A CONTEXT IN CONSTANT TRANSFORMATION
Beyond any doubt, we live in a society of pictures, of technology and immediacy. The social transformation that has come about in recent years, and still relentlessly advancing, must be coupled with a transversal educational model suited to integration into the complex reality surrounding us, and emphasizing teamwork and development of creative processes. At the same time, museums must turn their focus of attention to the visitor, their relationship with the space, and the experience generated through interaction. Therefore, master classes where students learn by rote, read aloud and underline passages in textbooks are things of the past. The same applies to cabinets of curiosities and the passive experience of visitors standing before works of art.
We are now in the era of the Museum 4.0. This means that visitor experiences are personalized, and that museums depart from the museum itself. Today’s museum has no walls: it is possible to take virtual tours and visit collections from home. Potentiality, the museum as mausoleum, and art works as a means of aesthetic enjoyment all give way to the creation of multisensory experiences that generate a new type of emotional connection between user and museum, in which participation, either virtual or face-to-face, is the key.
On another note, educating students in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) competencies is a way of facing the future that lies ahead. It is possible to consider transversal competencies as fundamental components of educational success. These are competencies such as teamwork, critical thinking, active gazing, fluid communication, etc. In other words, aspects that contribute to our being able to adapt to the needs brought to bear by the 21st century, a liquid society that must learn to prepare future generations to face major challenges. To make this possible, it is necessary to develop innovation from an early age, and be capable of building a more competitive, innovative territory. Creativity and innovation unite to advance dynamic methodologies built around the technological. Therefore, today’s learning process must become something integrative and meaningful.
Student experience as the focal point of an education system
Educational undertakings of the 21st century must turn students into the leading players of their own learning process. To achieve this aim, teachers have to be capable of seeking out new methods, tools and spaces that contribute to meaningful learning. This will require life-long, multidisciplinary training. It no longer makes much sense to speak in terms of syllabi or subjects. The future is in project-based learning, mutual collaboration among different areas, and placing students’ interests in the center of learning. This way, an educational project based on the inter
relation of concepts, subjects and knowledge that can be applied in real situations gives rise to a form of learning based on experimentation and the senses.
The STEAM model emerges in this context as a proposal that connects ideas and concepts together understand subject matters, to face challenges put forth by society and contribute rapid,
effective solutions. Real, tangible scenarios contribute to understanding concepts that are abstract or difficult to explain. Promoting creation and materializing certain ideas after conducting a reflexive, critical process turns learning into a more participatory process in which shared knowledge experiences that motivate and engage students are generated. Further, this methodological approach must be accompanied by the creation of physical and educational spaces in which these projects can be comfortably developed