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4 Ways STEAM Challenges the Gifted Learner

by Ashley Jossick

The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) offers a diverse and comprehensive selection of STEAM courses for gifted students ages 5-17. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education cultivates the talent and challenges the minds of gifted students. Unlike the rigid curriculum of many traditional schools, STEAM education calls for innovative problem-solving across disciplines.

Here are 4 ways STEAM education provides a welcome challenge for gifted students:

1. Fosters innate curiosity

Parents of gifted children are indeed familiar with their intense curiosity. Above all, STEAM education gives students the opportunity to discover explanations of how everyday objects and processes work. STEAM also removes traditional boundaries between disciplines, giving gifted students much-needed free reign to explore and discover the “big picture”.

“To develop a complete mind: study the science of art; study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

2. Prepares students for successful careers

Most gifted students are a natural fit for successful and lucrative careers in STEAM fields. Gifted students share similar character traits with professional engineers, architects, doctors, scientists, and web designers. Both share a love of learning, strong analytical skills, curiosity, vivid imagination and the ability to apply knowledge across subject areas.

STEAM also encourages teamwork. Many gifted students struggle with socializing and group work. STEAM education teaches students how to appreciate the insights of their peers and use each other as a soundboard for producing creative solutions. Collaborative project-based activities certainly more closely resemble the structure of many important career areas, such as engineering and architecture.

Gifted students also learn adaptability through STEAM. When dealing with real situations, students learn how to be flexible when problem-solving and adjust to changes. Through STEAM education, gifted students learn important communication and leadership skills applicable to a successful future.

3. Busts boredom

Boredom is certainly a common problem for gifted students in a traditional classroom. STEAM education is naturally mentally stimulating—there are endless possibilities for students to explore! Above all, inventing new ways to solve problems is encouraged, rather than stifled.

STEAM education allows students to learn with their hands and fully immerse themselves in subjects. Information from textbooks is brought to life. Students learn how to approach problems creatively and analyze beyond the surface, a skill useful for college and beyond.

4. Focuses on real-life problems and solutions

STEAM challenges gifted students to find creative solutions to global problems and go beyond the routine of memorizing information in textbooks. For example, dealing with real issues demonstrates the relevance and application of math in everyday life.

Despite science and math existing as subjects in a traditional curriculum, most schools focus mostly on the natural sciences and memorizing mathematical facts. STEAM introduces students to the science and math of the human-made world and the technology we depend on and interact with on a daily basis.

Gifted students are an immense resource for progress in the world. Through STEAM education, students can learn the skills necessary to create global innovations in vital fields like engineering, art, architecture, medicine, and technology and improve the quality of life for generations to come.

The SIG STEAM+ Curriculum

The SIG STEAM+ curriculum explores all facets of STEAM, plus humanities and fitness. Courses explore subjects such as coding, graphic design, robotics, medical microbiology, cryptography, quantum mechanics, and aerospace engineering.

4 ways STEAM challenges gifted students

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