By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s a growing group of advocates who believe that STEM education is missing a key component.

Some educators want to add an “A” to represent Arts.

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“By ‘art’ we usually mean art and design, but it’s a holistic approach to learning, research and education,” says program manager for Drexel’s ExCITe Center, Kara Lindstrom.

At the federal level there is the congressional caucus exploring the value of STEAM, but locally there are a lot of people looking at it from different angles.

“Whether it’s sort of informal learning like ‘the Hacktory,’ research and exploration like what we do here at the excite center at Drexel, to schools like SLA and others that are exploring hands on learning,” says Lindstrom.

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She believes no problem in the real world is solved within one discipline:

“You need to have the design and the arts to really help add this element of the interface, the human element and it’s not just arts and design, there’s the humanities, the social aspect of it to it. It’s saying it’s not just about the math and the science.”

Lindstrom says in Philadelphia, there is a lot of exploration around STEAM because of the difficult situation the school district is in:

“Because of the limits of resources and the fact that they really just see such an opportunity to leapfrog these students who have been undeserved for so long.”

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The goal of both STEM and STEAM advocates is to make students fully literate when it comes to technology in the 21st century.