Gaining STEAM in Oakland

steam2stemOakland is gaining STEAM with a new semester of art, cultural and exercise classes being sponsored by the Sports Association of Oakland.

Classes, which are now open for registration, include offerings in writing, photography, drama, pottery, as well as exercises classes – the 2013 fall semester also offers adult classes.

The goal of the SAO in combining arts with recreation is to provide Oakland youth with affordable creative and recreational options outside of organized sports; with all classes being taught by local residents.

The STEM to STEAM initiative gaining traction in America is a movement to incorporate Art & Design into the original STEM educational initiative. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is intended to encourage more students to pursue careers in these fields to secure America’s position in a global economy.

But Andy Warhol said, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” STEAM adds the component that was lacking in STEM – the creative element – which is core to America continuing to be the most innovative nation in the world; this is something that corporations around the world are now embracing.

According to a major IBM survey of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, “creativity” is the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.

This 2010 survey only confirms what Steve Jobs was saying in 1994 when he explained that Apple was built by “…musicians, poets, artists, historians…” who also happened to be great computer programmers.

Jobs understood the importance of adding the “A” to STEM, and it is the “A” which will provide the STEAM for America’s economy, national identity, and social fabric into the 21st century; and, now CEO’s around the globe are recognizing that intuition and creativity are the major differentiating factors between competitors.

The SAO sponsored classes are intended to be fun, educational, and enriching for the individual – young and old; but, it’s worth recognizing the importance of these small efforts. The leaders of tomorrow – in business, in politics, in society – will not be the top test-takers. The leaders of tomorrow – in business, politics, society – will be those who can create and innovate.

Sports Association of Oakland Enrichment Classes – Children & Adults

The Creativity Crisis – Newsweek

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Artists – Fortune Magazine

Steve Jobs Added Art to STEM to Create STEAM

Thomas Edison’s Creative Thinking Habits