Full STEAM Ahead

By now, STEM is probably so ingrained in your brain that we don't even have to tell you what subjects it stands for. (But we're going to anyway—science, technology, engineering, and math.) And it's only been in recent years that this phenomenon has fully integrated itself into classrooms. As we become more familiar with the sheer amount of potential careers associated with STEM subjects, the less focused we might be on things like arts and humanities. But when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the country's foremost universities regarding STEM subjects, says that the so-called soft subjects are pretty important too, we're going to listen.

MIT has recognized that in order for their grads to help solve some of the world's biggest issues (think global warming), they not only need intricate technological skills, but also an understanding of humanity's overwhelming complexities (you know, because you can lead a horse to water...), thus taking a STEAM approach. (The 'A' standing for arts/humanities.) That's why the superlative school requires each of its students to spend about a quarter of their college career dedicated to subjects like politics or philosophy. As one student put it, "MIT biology prepared me for medicine, literature prepared me to be a doctor." Maybe—at least over at MIT—STEM might be running out of STEAM.