STEM – the acronym popular with educators and policymakers – shortens the decidedly clunky phrase: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But something seemed to be missing. So leaders from science, engineering, mathematics, education and design have been advocating incorporating art and design into STEM education. In other words, STEM should now be referred to as STEAM.
A writer from The Atlantic, who applauded the new STEAM acronym, quoted NYSCI’s President and CEO Margaret Honey as saying “It’s not about adding on arts education. It’s about fundamentally changing education to incorporate the experimentation and exploration that is at the heart of effective education.”
There are some things in life we’d be glad to see less of: bills, litter, standardized tests. Monarch butterflies are not one of them. The striking orange and black wings of the monarch make it one of the most favorite butterfly species in North America. Unfortunately, this year’s numbers of monarchs are the lowest ever on record. At their peak in 1996, monarchs covered nearly 45 acres of forest in their overwintering grounds in Mexico. This year, they covered only 1.65 acres.
So spare some space in your garden this year for milkweed. If you’ve seen our current 3D film Flight of the Butterflies, you know how important milkweed is to monarchs. Milkweed is where monarchs lay their eggs and is the only food source for monarch caterpillars.
Click here to learn how to plant milkweed and nectar-producing flowers to create your own butterfly garden. Then sit down quietly and wait for the butterflies to alight upon you.