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The transition from STEM to STEAM

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Jayanta K. Banerjee University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Jayanta Banerjee is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. Dr. Banerjee received Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo and M.Ed. from Queen's University, both in Canada. He has worked in industries and taught at the universities in Germany, Canada, USA and Latin America. He has over hundred publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings and a few books to his credit. Jayanta is a member of ASEE, ASME and VDI (Germany).

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Over the last decades the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) has emphasized on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the undergraduate Engineering studies. In the recent years, however, another component is added, and that is, the Arts, thus culminating STEM to STEAM. The present paper addresses the positive aspects of this transition, mainly for the practicing engineers in a global scenario. The arts, including literature, music, fine arts and photography, improves our engineering “reasoning” with the “emotion” of harmony in beauty. A good example at this crossroads of reason and emotion is the school of architecture. Right now we, the engineers, are just one step behind. Furthermore, today’s engineering practitioner invariably has to work in a global culture far beyond the boundaries of her/his own native environment. The arts are the windows through which one sees a different culture in a distant land. For the engineers of today, understanding and appreciating another culture is not anymore a choice but a necessity in order to work in harmony with other fellow engineers in a different country or within a consortium of several nations, such as, Engineers without Borders, UNESCO, International Red Cross, Rotary International and many others. The engineering slogans of the 1960s, “Think globally but act locally” has been changed today to “Think globally and act globally.” Language is an intimate part of any culture. Knowing a second and a third language helps enormously in working in a different culture. Today, in the Engineering School at the University of Puerto Rico (UPRM), most of the undergraduate students are fairly bilingual in Spanish/English. This has helped them in working as Co-op students, Engineer in Training (EIT) or as fulltime employee in a distant land as far as China and India. Here again the transition from STEM to STEAM in engineering curricula has a quantum leap.

Banerjee, J. K. (2020, June), The transition from STEM to STEAM Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35376

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