STEM Content vs. A Sense of Wonder and Joy of Learning: It Shouldn’t Have to be a Choice


  • William Stone


STEM, STEAM, Wonder, Creativity, Curiosity, Imagination


The purpose of this reflective article is to examine how structured STEM programs often fail to promote key traits that are crucial to the scientific process including creativity, wonder, curiosity, and imagination. Typical STEM programs are content-driven, outcome-oriented, and scripted in a curriculum-centered, teacher-directed manner. Because of their rigidity, these programs often preclude more open-ended explorations that foster creative explorations in STEM. The article gives examples of scientists and inventors who dared to imagine and explored the world with a sense of wonder in non-scripted, active ways. The article discusses programs like Genius Hour and provides suggestions for promoting creativity in STEM programs.


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