BLOG: Keeping the arts in STEM

Alyssa Pressler

When I was first going to college back in 2012, I remember there being a huge push for STEM in the U.S. so that we could better compete with countries like China in those subjects academically. It resulted in me getting lectured a lot about my choice to double major in journalism and international studies, two Liberal Arts majors.

While it's certainly important to stress science, technology, engineering and math in schools and to continue to better education, it's imperative that arts and vocational training treated with the same importance. Schools in York County are doing this and continuing to push STEAM, rather than STEM.

Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing York Country Day School's new STEAM center, an addition to the school that hopes to continue and expand on the school's commitment to teaching STEAM topics like robotics, wood working, digital arts and design, pottery and coding.

Full STEAM ahead at York Country Day School

Just this past week, Gov. Tom Wolf went to the York City School District to visit Ferguson K-8 STEAM classes. Holmes said during the visit that the district would like to even further expand the program to the other schools in the district, possibly finding the STEAM program its own building in the future. Talked during the visit about the importance of the 'A' in STEAM, drawing on his own experiences at his Alma Mater, MIT.

During this past week, Red Lion Area High School's vocational program benefited from a $5,000 donation from the Red Lion Educational Foundation to purchase new welding equipment for their welding and equipment making class. Heath Neff, the instructor of the class, was excited to finally be able to purchase more equipment for his ever growing class. The donation means that more kids will benefit from learning this skill.

The result of these efforts, which are just a recent and brief snapshot of all that is going on in York County schools? Kids in this county are getting a more holistic and creative education than I ever got. To that I say kudos, York County! Let's keep it up!