STEAM Learning & Design Thinking: The 2 Sides of the 21st Century Skills Coin

Education Education
12-14 12-14
Abhilasha Rai
3 months ago
STEAM Learning & Design Thinking: Crucial 21st Century Skills

We live in a digitally driven society with continuous and rapid technological improvements. As a result,  how to shape learning by using the power of new technologies is a crucial ability that professionals must develop in order to reach their full potential. Gaining knowledge in a specific subject is no longer sufficient. Here, in this article, we will talk about two essential skills of the 21st century- STEAM Learning and Design Thinking. Read on to find out more about the importance and incorporation of the two in the contemporary learning scenario. 

To ensure success, students must develop a combination of workplace and life skills across many areas of expertise. Thinking skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving, cooperation, and communication skills will prepare our pupils to excel in the ever-changing world of the twenty-first century. Digital literacies such as coding and life skills such as risk-taking and leadership are also vital. Careful and considerate solution design should focus on producing value and boosting productivity with the least amount of waste possible. This approach is known as Design Thinking, a core paradigm in which technology is chosen depending on the capabilities necessary for the final product. In the design thinking paradigm, technology is built by first considering its final state and then implementing the necessary functionality to support it.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has also stressed the same in the direction for students in K12 schools and institutions.

STEAM Learning and Design Thinking Pedagogies are excellent ways to instill these skills in children. STEAM Learning combines Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics into “interdependent” learning units centred on real-world applications.

Also Read | How Play-Based Learning is Emerging as a Great Tool in Education


How to Incorporate STEAM Education into the Classroom

STEAM learning and design thinking

When it comes to answering the topic of how STEAM education may be implemented in the classroom, it is critical to emphasise that any teacher can be a STEAM teacher; it is not solely the responsibility of teachers of the various subjects in question. This is due to the fact that integration lies at the heart of the entire STEAM idea.

It Is also a good idea to design unique STEAM projects in which students must employ a variety of STEAM abilities at the same time. Small-scale collaborative building projects or finding ways to add artistic or creative components in lessons that would not normally be tied to the arts are examples of this.

Furthermore, teachers must strive to make science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics lessons as entertaining and engaging as possible. This will therefore aid in the goal of encouraging more students to pursue these subjects later in their schooling in the hopes of working in STEAM fields.

Here are three brief Ideas for schools to consider while introducing STEAM education:

  • To plan STEAM lessons, form teams of teachers with diverse topic knowledge.
  • Make adjustments to both student and teacher schedules to allow for STEAM-based lesson plans, including time for planning, refining, and reflection.
  • Ensure that all staff and instructors receive professional development in STEAM methods, principles, and resources.

Whatever method a school chooses to implement STEAM education programmes in its community, the following fundamental components must be considered:

  • Connect standards, assessments, and lessons that integrate science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts on purpose.
  • Include two or more science, technology, engineering, math, and arts standards in your lesson plans and assessments.
  • Incorporate inquiry, collaboration, and process-based learning into your curriculum.
  • Make use of the arts’ integrity to create a real and meaningful learning environment.


Why are STEAM Learning and Design Thinking Important for Education’s Future?

STEAM learning and design thinking: The future of education

A significant portion of the educational system’s job is to educate pupils for future employment.

That is why STEAM learning and design thinking are so critical. Students learn through curiosity, play, and hands-on activities. And who knows what else? What they discover could pave the way for the next growing STEAM career. The difficult issue is that many STEAM careers are constantly evolving, and while we can’t forecast the future of jobs, we can help children prepare for the knowledge and skills they’ll need to succeed in those jobs. One of the most powerful results of STEAM learning and design thinking is the opportunity for students to connect with their community, allowing kids to work on real-world problems that have a direct influence on their life while also having a chance to preview a possible future career path.

The goal is for students to have real-world experience solving real-world problems.

These projects immerse students in the design thinking process, teaching them vital skills such as research, interviewing, prototyping, testing, and idea pitching.

The overall goal of education is to prepare citizens to be proactive, motivated, and self-sufficient in the face of ongoing challenges. Critical thinking—finding solutions to problems—is essential in the twenty-first century for dealing with difficult situations and overcoming difficulties in one’s profession. To examine, critique, synthesise, and expand the theoretical framework of the topic, a critical literature review approach was adopted. Teaching mathematical problem-solving is an effective approach to developing 21st-century abilities and providing learners with cross-curricular experiences that have real-world relevance. Students could learn a way of thinking to approach and solve problems successfully in a broader context in life by incorporating them into the learning process and practising certain approaches for solving mathematical problems. The paper’s conclusion presents methodologies, learning models, and tactics for building 21st-century abilities in students of all levels during classroom activities for teachers and educators.



STEAM education aims to increase student interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. These subjects are vital for acquiring key life skills, and degrees in these areas are in high demand among employers. Creya Learning is an innovative education organisation focusing on providing students with the skills, literacy, competencies, and attitude required to flourish in the dynamic world of the twenty-first century.

Creya learning logo

Explore Creya

Creya is a pioneer of STEAM Learning & Design Thinking for K12 in India, in which a coach leads children in solving real-world problems through an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach. Creya Learning program is all about delivering authentic projects, developing knowledge, assisting children in learning experientially, and making connections between their learning and the actual world.

Creya Learning has delivered 5+ Million Sessions to about 300,000+ students in Classes 1 - 10 helping them connect classroom concepts to real-world problem-solving. The program that works in-school, online or hybrid also helps schools meet NEP 2020 aspirations. 

Creya program provides develops 21st-century skills in students through a wide range of modules that include Engineering Design, Robotics, 3D Printing Internet of things (IoT), Digital Media,  Arduino Simulation, Artificial Intelligence, App Development   & Coding.

The unique pedagogical design of the Creya with Bootcamps, Guided Projects, and Capstones (Open-ended design projects) coupled with 360 Degree Assessments of the skills ensure that promised learning outcomes are delivered. The end-to-end implementation with Lab setup, Lesson Plan Resources, and Training & Support ensures schools have a seamless implementation. In fact, Creya's programs meet/exceed the suggested best practices of a world-class STEM Lab & Maker Space as suggested by MIT.

Check Out: Decoding the Necessity of a Preventive Healthcare Ecosystem in Schools


This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
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