Why Art, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Matters

STEM to STEAMIE Interview with Tim Lawrence, Executive Director SkillsUSA

New Initiative aims to support Art. Design and Innovation and Entrepreneurship along with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

By adding three key elements, WebProfessionals.org aims to expand and convert the fields of study representing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) into a more inclusive and necessary field.

“Adding Art, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the U.S. conversation around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is a mission critical pathway to economic competitiveness,” said Bill Cullifer, Executive Director of the association of Web Professionals, WebProfessionals.org.

We’re spearheading the initiative and generating support from a number of experts representing business, industry, education and government including Webprofessionals.org members. The goal is to discuss and to communicate the critical need to incorporate Art, including Digital Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship into the STEM conversation.

The initiative would create a new acronym, STEAMIE.

“It’s time to get real about STEM,” Cullifer said. “As much as we are big supporters in STEM, not everyone has an interest in science or math and we need to be more inclusive.”

Mark DuBois, Professor at Illinois Central College (ICC), agrees. “We also need to attract a broader audience including a growing number of women attracted to entrepreneurship and digital design,” he said.

What is STEM?
STEM fields or STEM education is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In the United States, the acronym was first used in education and immigration debates in initiatives to begin to address the perceived lack of qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. It addresses concern that the subjects are often taught in isolation, instead of as an integrated curriculum. Maintaining a citizenry that is well versed in the STEM fields is a key portion of the public education agenda of the United States. The acronym has been widely used in the immigration debate regarding access to United States work visas for immigrants who are skilled in these fields. It also has become commonplace in education discussions as a reference to the shortage of skilled workers and inadequate education in these areas.

What is STEAMIE?
Coined by the membership-supported organization, WebProfessionals.org, the acronym STEAMIE represents the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, mathematics plus arts, innovation and entrepreneurship. The aim is to be more inclusive and representative of what employers really want or need.

Why is STEAMIE important?
In 2009, the U.S. House Small Business Committee reported that one dollar spent on the Small Business Administration’s entrepreneurial development programs brings a return of $2.87 into the economy. The year before, 2008, these programs helped generate 73,000 new jobs and added $7.2 billion to the U.S. economy, according to a Feb. 11, 2009 press release by the House Committee on Small Business. This speaks volumes to the fact that entrepreneurial development programs, if done well, can be incredibly important to a nation’s job creation efforts as well as its economic development, according to a recent report published by the Gallop organization.

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