At Highland, we've taken STEM education – which combines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – to the next level. By adding Art to create STEAM, our students are getting an introduction to critical core concepts in a hands-on way that's more engaging and relevant to a broader range of learners. And they're getting rewarded with better comprehension and higher SAT scores.   

Our teachers are taking STEM a step further
STEM programs are designed to integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the classroom. These programs aim to teach students to think critically and have an engineering or design approach towards real-world problems while building on their math and science base. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative and innovative solutions.

STEAM is fun, meaningful, and relevant to our students
At Highland, STEAM education is a fun and meaningful way for our teachers to deliver more engaging concepts and deeply embedding them in a creative way that goes beyond typical STEM education. Why differentiate between the two? STEM is based on skills generally using the left half of the brain. They are analytical and logic-driven. Research shows that activities like the Arts, which uses the right side of the brain supports and fosters creativity, are essential to innovation. Not only that, students that focus on the arts as a part of their education perform better academically. STEAM involves the right side of the brain in a way that STEM education – which is purely left-brained – does not. 

A recent University of Florida study shows that, on average, students who study the arts for four years in high school score 98 points higher on the SATs compared to those who study the same for half a year or less. Additionally, students who studied music appreciation scored 61 points higher on the verbal section and 42 points higher on the math section.

Using left and right brain yields measurable benefits
Students who study the arts as part of a STEAM-based curriculum tend to perform better academically than those who do not, but there are more reasons why the arts are an important part of an effective education. The fine and performing arts help students build confidence, develop motor skills, and hone their decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Check out this graphic created by the University of Florida:

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