The Toy Association released a new report, “Decoding STEM/STEAM,” to help tackle the challenges, stigmas, and myths related to STEM/STEAM learning. Assembled and reviewed by a committee of experts in STEAM fields, the report aims to shed light on the meaning and history of STEM/STEAM, eradicate common myths and misconceptions, define the role of toys and play in STEM and STEAM education, and help parents better guide their children’s learning.

The report explores how role models, stereotypes, and parental attitudes and anxieties about math and other STEM topics can influence a child’s desire and motivation to learn. It also dives into the role played by the arts in empowering solutions to scientific problems (underscoring the value of ‘art’ in the STEAM acronym) and the top 10 ways that toys can teach STEAM.

The full “Decoding STEM/STEAM” report is now available at ToyAssociation.org. An infographic on the “Top 10 Ways Toys Can Teach STEAM” and a “Myths and Messages” brochure for parents and educators can be found at TheGeniusofPlay.org, The Toy Association’s website for families looking for information and inspiration to make play an important part of their child’s day.

In the coming months, The Toy Association’s STEM/STEAM Strategic Leadership Committee will look at the unifying characteristics of STEAM toys to help guide manufacturers in developing products that foster STEM/STEAM discovery and learning.