STEM or STEAM

You say STEM?
I say STEAM?
Let’s call the whole thing…

That’s the thing about language. You mean this but I mean that, yet we both use the same word.

Or we use different words yet mean the same thing. And in the case of Stem/Steam where, in the midst of all that, does MakerSpace fit? For a few years now we’ve found ourselves having to say Stem/Steam (how ugly and indecisive is that?).

I’ve even found myself debating whether a Steam space is a Makerspace, and if they’re not, how are they different? When acturally from what I can see, they’re all the same.

And yet they’re all different at the same time. Confused? Sure as eggs are eggs I am.

Because within learning spaces, that until now have been slavishly wedded to the concept of having discrete spaces for discrete subjects (so isn’t this actually DT?) the concept of having spaces that simply celebrate and support the concept of enquiry – of finding out by hands-on practical discovery seems to be a bit of a contradiction.

So whether it’s Stem, Steam or Makerspace depends on who’s space it is within the school. If it’s part of the science faculty, of course it’s Stem. If instead it finds itself in the Art or Design block it becomes a Makerspace.

Which is why we prefer the word “Explore”. Explore isn’t about faculties or disciplines. Explore is about curiosity, enquiry, experimentation.

Explore is about creating knowledge rather than consuming it (something we did when we put one in the middle of a library – a cracking place for one if ever I saw it). So come on. Join us, and explore!