All steamed up
I just read with interest your article on STEM versus STEAM [November/December 2015 InTech]. The point that art as a form should be included with engineering and science in technical endeavors, new or otherwise, is valid but not necessarily new. In Automation Federation workforce development and advocacy work for STEM-related legislation over the past few years, we have noticed that the STEAM acronym has been in use for some time. Of course, it means the inclusion of art as a benefit to technology.
When the lawmakers with whom we met first mentioned “steam,” I got pretty excited. I thought we would be talking about the world’s oldest resource to drive industry! Today it is still the most efficient heat-transfer media used in industry, an area for which I have much interest and experience. Education in this area is widely lacking, especially in process automation applications (leave the details to the mechanicals). No, they meant art of course.
I presume the placement of the “A” between engineering and math is because “steam” is already a word, though not likely an Italian one, and other placement might look funny. But then, STEMA does look a bit Italian after all, doesn’t it? Da Vinci might have preferred it.
Stephen R. Huffman
New edition of InTech Plus released
ISA has released the third edition of its free InTech Plus for tablets; check out www.isa.org/intech-plus for an introduction. The latest edition focuses on flow and level measurement, and continues to offer a highly colorful and visual presentation of automation information.
“Useful information and tools are on display at your fingertips,” says Susan Colwell, director of ISA publications. “Tap on a button to view helpful conversion tables or get a refresher on a specific area of automation fundamentals, such as how to select field instruments. Take a quiz on CCST or CAP certification. A slide of a finger will lead you to the next feature, video, fun fact, or news item.”