Updated: Jul 22
Teaching STEAM is not only about teaching technology and art. Embracing STEAM education is more about the approach than it is the content that kids are learning. Mindfulness cultivates a sense of self-awareness and entrepreneurship helps kids build a positive mindset and capabilities for growth and innovation. Teaching mindfulness and entrepreneurship alongside STEAM is what will help kids’ excel.
Entrepreneurship & STEAM
Teaching young children STEAM concepts may be a challenge, but exposing them to entrepreneurship and having an entrepreneurial mindset might make this process a little easier.
1. STEAM encourages risk taking
When kids engage in STEAM projects, they must recognize that they might not succeed right away. Teaching kids this concept is important because it encourages persistence from trial and error, a process that entrepreneurs experience daily. This motivates kids to do their best, so if there robot doesn’t move the way it’s supposed to right away, or if there is something wrong with their code, they can figure out what went wrong and try again.
2. STEAM encourages creativity
All entrepreneurs possess creative thinking skills, because all great things start with an idea. STEAM students need this skill as well. They must learn how to think on their feet and come up with new ways of doing things when challenges arise.
3. STEAM encourages responsibility
Just as entrepreneurs recognize that they are the only ones who have responsibility over their own actions, kids participating in STEAM activities should recognize this as well. Coding, game design and other STEAM projects kids participate in teach them empowerment, responsibility and freedom when it comes to making decisions. Leaders possess these qualities, and exhibiting leadership is an important aspect of an entrepreneur, because it helps them successfully drive their ideas into reality.
Teaching kids entrepreneurship alongside STEAM will enable them to fulfill their true potential, but mindfulness practices can do so as well.
Why Mindfulness Works
Mindfulness is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about STEAM education. However, teaching mindfulness has produced evidence-based results and many big companies like Google, Apple and Nike teach a mindfulness course to their employees. Over the last 30 years, academic research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and physical medicine have documented a wide-range of benefits from learning mindfulness practices. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to help with: bad habits, anxiety, pain & illness, depression, focus & attention and creativity.
Mindfulness & STEAM
.b is the UK’s learning mindfulness curriculum for 11-18 year olds in school. Each .b lesson teaches distinct mindfulness skills and is designed to engage young minds. It’s important to teach mindfulness to make it relevant to young people, and show how it can improve both their lives and their education. These are a few of the benefits STEAM students can gain from learning about mindfulness:
1.Improved overall well-being
STEAM learners can benefit greatly from practices and resources that help or improve their mental health and well-being. Mindful thinking and mindfulness practices like yoga, meditation and self-care can lead to better mental and emotional health. This will help kids have a clearer mind and enhanced focus in the classroom, making it much easier to learn.
2. Heightened emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of one’s emotions and the emotions of others and having the ability to discern between these different emotions. Mindfulness contributes to emotional intelligence as kids become more aware of what’s going on around them. With heightened emotional intelligence STEAM students can improve how they communicate with peers and teachers, and improve their character as well.
3. Improved problem solving abilities
STEAM is all about problem solving, and mindfulness improves STEAM learners’ ability to comprehend, learn and solve problems. There isn’t a direct relation between mindfulness practices and improved learning outcomes, but scientists have revealed that it reduces anxiety and stress, while improving attention and focus. Students can greatly improve their abilities to problem solve when they get rid of any stressful thoughts that may hinder their ability to learn and process information.
Mindfulness, and entrepreneurship are important components to have in a STEAM classroom, which is why they should be taught together.