In season 43 of Sesame Street, the show continues its focus on STEM education, adding the arts to the equation, creating STEAM. The cornerstone of the curriculum remains the connection between the four main domains: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but the updated approach integrates the arts. This helps make learning STEM concepts relevant and enticing to young children by highlighting how artists use STEM knowledge to enhance their art or solve problems. It also provides context for the importance of STEM knowledge in careers in the arts (e.g. musician, painter, sculptor and dancer).
In order for children to explore STEAM, it is important to highlight the underlying scientific process skills; observing and questioning, investigating, analyzing and reporting and reflecting on the “big idea.” These skills enable children to formulate thoughts into questions, solve problems and allow for the learning of new concepts and “big ideas” to become apparent and meaningful. It also helps make the connection between scientific (“Let’s find out.”) and innovative (“What if?”) thinking to clearly demonstrate that the arts can be used to inspire learning and teach STEM concepts.
As an extension of our STEAM curriculum, the show features “Elmo The Musical,” an exciting new segment and interactive experience. Each episode is a musical adventure created by Elmo and the child at home. Focusing on imagination and math skills, such as enumeration, relational concepts, addition/subtraction, geometric shapes and many more, Elmo takes viewers on thrilling explorations as he imagines himself in different scenarios and must use math to solve the various problems he encounters. Kids can sing, dance, play, problem solve and imagine along with Elmo on math-filled adventures.