Thanks to a tweet from Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda on Friday, the world became aware of a new tool that I hope will greatly move the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education movement to STEAM (A=arts) instead.
What single tool could be that impactful?
I’ll give you two hints. He’s three-and-a-half years old and he’s red. Get it yet?
Elmo could be the next great STEM to STEAM advocate thanks to plans for a new Sesame Street segment for the show’s 43rd season this fall. According to a description of the new “Elmo the Musical” segment of the preschool learning show:
“An extension of our STEAM curriculum, each 11-minute episode is an interactive, fun-filled musical adventure created by Elmo and the child at home. Focusing on imagination and math skills, such as enumeration, relational concepts, addition/subtraction, geometric shapes and many more, Elmo takes viewers on thrilling explorations as he imagines himself in ‘Sea Captain The Musical,’ ‘Guacamole The Musical,’ ‘Prince Elmo The Musical’ and even ‘President The Musical!’ In ‘Elmo The Musical,’ kids can sing, dance, play and imagine along with Elmo on math-filled adventures!”
It sounds like a solid effort in showing parents (and their kids) the power of the arts in helping young children to learn other vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. Think about it. Are you still able to sing the words to songs like this from Schoolhouse Rock?
That’s the power of the arts inserted into other subject learning and I hope Elmo can help us to continue to spread the message of STEM to STEAM to newest generation and their parents!