Canadian Boarding Schools Can Lead the Way in STEAM

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and more commonly referred to as STEAM to better integrate the arts, has been a leading topic in education for quite some time now. So what exactly is STE(A)M? Well, STEAM can create a program that blends all five parts in a way that allows students to use cross-curricular knowledge to problem solve. 

Technology and Engineering rely heavily on Science, Arts and Math to really make things happen. So for example, if someone studying Architectural Engineering needs to design a building, they would need to understand the underlying mathematical and scientific principles that make a building like this possible. They also need to combine those two disciplines with the arts to bring it all together. This is when STEAM comes into play. 

While STEAM is an actual education program in which you can enroll, it’s also a way of teaching that many schools are starting to focus on and employ. 

Canada has emerged as a leader in STE(A)M. Canada is starting to create more job opportunities in STEAM-related fields. As more businesses and organizations start to change the way they operate, the demand for people who can do STEAM-related jobs will increase. In fact, the United States is predicting that by 2022 they will need to fill an estimated 9 millions jobs in the STE(A)M industry.

So what does this mean for Canadian boarding schools? Boarding schools are well known for their discipline and rigorous academic education, which is an excellent fit for teaching STEAM. Schools need to be focused on 21st century skills, which is, of course, what STEAM is. So for example, we at St. John’s Academy deliver a rigorous academic program, and emphasis is placed on developing skills and competencies – we want students to be 21st century ready.

Students should recognize that the skills they are developing in one subject will benefit them in another. More importantly, the thinking and innovation required in the 21st century will require students to use information, knowledge, and skills from multiple subjects to tackle the issues, problems, and opportunities of the 21st century. Within the Middle School program at St. John’s Academy, students within every grade will undertake interdisciplinary tasks and draw upon knowledge and skills from various subjects as they complete various, authentic projects and learning tasks.


St. John’s Academy is a growing IB (International Baccalaureate) school nestled against Shawnigan Lake on Canada’s Vancouver Island. It intentionally brings together both local and international boarding students so that all of our students have an enriching and academically rigorous experience.



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