STEAM Ahead; Addressing the importance of STEAM at the elementary level

Today’s economy is quickly shifting with educators, administrators and families seeking ways to engage students earlier with curriculum and project-based efforts to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) into today’s classroom. Whether it is science, technology or mathematics – these areas are being quickly defined as items of interest and need for students to be successful, or at the very least, to build skills that increase problem solving and supply opportunities to strengthen one-on-one or group communication.

As curriculums shift, STEAM is an important ally to allow students to learn and function at their highest potential. “STEAM is important in that it incorporates a number of subjects in a relatable manner for students,” said South Colonie Supervisor of STEAM programming Gregory Bearup. “By introducing these areas of programming at an earlier age, students can identify how those subject areas coincide with one another. This is especially important as they grow into their grade-level curriculum and experience how problem-solving becomes more prevalent in their day-to-day classroom activities.”

The $113 million proposed spending plan that district residents will vote on May 17 has outlined key enhancements prioritizing STEAM education at both elementary and secondary levels.

“We feel that the role of STEAM will continually impact today’s students in their ability to understand particular subjects and how they accompany one another,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Perry. “By introducing it at the elementary level, we are able to reinforce the areas that are critical to our elementary students’ success.”

To put its importance into perspective, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that STEM occupations will grow by 8.8% between 2018-2028, compared with 5% for non-STEM jobs. While that is not a huge leap, it is progressively foreshadowing the importance of STEAM and its role in supporting academic success inside the classroom.

For additional information on South Colonie’s 2022-23 proposed spending plan, visit