National STEM/STEAM Day Date in the current year: November 8, 2024

National STEM/STEAM Day National STEM/STEAM Day is observed on November 8 every year. It was created to encourage children to explore and pursue their interests in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

The acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) has been around since the early 1990s; it is primarily used in the context of education and curriculum. These four disciplines are distinct but related; they share an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. The demand for STEM professionals has been growing steadily over the past few decades, and many schools have put an emphasis on STEM programs.

STEAM is a more recent concept than STEM. It adds the arts to the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. STEAM proponents argue that incorporating the arts into STEM learning encourages children to take a more creative approach to problem-solving and takes STEM to the next level. This approach takes the benefits of STEM and combines these principles with the arts to foster creativity and innovation. It should be noted that the connection between STEM and the arts goes both ways: integration of the arts into STEM encourages creative thinking in engineering and technology, while STEM knowledge helps artists enhance their art.

National STEM/STEAM Day was launched in 2015 by MGA Entertainment, a US-based manufacturer of children’s toys and entertainment products. It is meant to highlight the importance of STEAM education and inspire students, especially those from underrepresented groups, to discover the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

Historically, women and some minorities have been underrepresented in STEM in the United States. As of 2010 women made up half of the college-educated workers in the US, but only 28% of the science and engineering workers. Underrepresented minorities in science and engineering included African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Americans, and Hispanics. They collectively formed over a quarter of the population, but only 10% of the science and engineering workers. LGBTQ+ people have also faced discrimination in STEM fields.

Due to this, one of the main goals of STEM/STEAM Day is to help bridge the gender and racial gaps in STEM fields by encouraging underrepresented students to pursue STEM and supporting them along the way. The observance promotes inclusiveness and acceptance in STEAM fields and helps foster a culture of creativity and innovation in classrooms.

There are many ways to get involved with National STEM/STEAM Day. You can encourage you kids in their STEAM pursuits by taking them to science or art museum, signing them up for a STEAM program, helping them research a STEAM career etc., sign up for a STEAM course yourself because it’s never too late to learn, donate to a charity that advances STEAM education, organize a STEM/STEAM activity for kids in your neighborhood, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #STEMSTEAMDay.

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