Broader definition of STEM important for inclusion


In high school, I struggled with math and science. Once, I skipped class when I had a chemistry test and got a doctor’s note so that I could make it up later, after I had a few more days to study and try to grasp the material.

I still only managed to scrape by with a low C grade.

The stress was exacerbated by the fact that I went to a school that touted specialized programs for science and technology – it felt like I was constantly surrounded by people who ‘got it’ while I just didn’t.

Fast forward to university, where I was taught to use video and audio equipment and photo editing programs in my journalism classes. I excelled at these, because it was what I was interested in doing.

I was able to use science and technology in practical applications because it was in a context that I understood and was interested in.

There are many ways to excel in science and technology outside of what we think of as traditional classroom settings and labs.

This is why I was so happy to see that this year’s Science Rendezvous incorporate a much broader range of exhibits through its theme, Full STEAM Ahead.

STEAM is a play on the popular acronym STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The extra A stands for arts.

Annika Trimble, Inuvik’s Science Rendezvous organizer, said including arts exhibits related to science and technology in the event makes it more inclusive and accessible to a broader range of people.

It’s no secret that more and more tech-related jobs are popping up. So, the more people that can find a hook into STEM careers, the better.

One way to make sure that more youth can find an interest (and maybe even a future career) in these areas is to make sure that the arts are not forgotten.