Over the past two decades, there has been an increased interest in K–12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to meet the rising demand for talent in these growing sectors of the economy. So, it’s not surprising that STEM classrooms provide fertile ground for integrating 21st-century workforce skills like collaboration, communication, and critical thinking into the classroom.
The evolution to STEAM education (the “A” is for art) further reinforced this connection by giving students hands-on opportunities to develop valuable workforce skills like creativity and curiosity. As former STEAM teachers, we valued helping students develop the mindset and skills of engineers while engaging in innovative problem solving through the engineering design process.
But as great as those lessons were, they didn’t challenge students to get ready for the increasingly uncertain future of work — which means not only creating solutions, but identifying problems as well. STEAM programs also haven’t developed the skills students need to take ideas to scale in sustainable ways.
Enter entrepreneurship education and ESTEAM...