STEAM Resources



From STEM to STEAM: Reframing What it Means to Learn
Although involvement in art and design have been shown to play an essential role in catalyzing STEM research, true integration is still an area of active research. The realization of STEM education via STEAM lends itself to interactive and participatory dialogic art; this juncture provides a nonjudgmental space to cultivate the question-making aspect of inquiry, the ability to comfortably hold uncertainty, and a sensitivity to the process of discovery. Even though STEM education can (and often is) inquiry-based, assessments still tend to focus on whether knowledge or skills have been obtained, and this is no different than the current general practice in the arts. Consequently, what does it mean to learn in a STEAM context? This article presents a multifaceted view which can be used to organize meaningful assessments for STEAM learning.

Encouraging Teachers to W.A.I.T. Before Engaging Students in Next Generation Science Standards STEAM Activities
Effective art integration in K-12 curricula has clear benefits for classroom teachers (i.e. student achievement on standardized tests, student engagement, improving critical thinking). This paper proposes a framework based off of Claudia Cornett's levels of art integration. Teaching With About and In Through (WAIT) the arts can serve as a model for teachers who want to transform their science lesson to include art integration.

Putting the Team in STEAM: The Art of Robot Making
What began as a life partnership has evolved into an early learning STEAM team. Artist, David Thompson, uses science, technology, engineering and math, on a daily basis, to create robots and much more. Teresa Day Walker is an assistant professor of early childhood education. Through necessity they discovered their combined talents could be used to promote STEAM in early childhood. David and Teri teamed up to provide a nearly impromptu robot making demonstration for 100 kindergarten students. After reading their co-authored book, Robot Hide and Seek, both, clay based and 3-D modeled images were used to generate interest and discussion. Ultimately, Boom, a resin robot, took center stage during the engaging hands-on casting demonstration as he evolved from two separate chemicals, into his combined liquid state, and finally his solid self.

K-12 Students See STEAM Everyday
Today’s students exist in a visual world. A new semiotic language has emerged in the digital age. It consists of an ever-evolving vocabulary of signs and symbols that one can rapidly decipher. Icons represent applications and functions on a plethora of modern devices. Sounds indicate changes and the start and end of activity. The exposure of new audio and visual media are part of everyday communication, now more than ever. The Arts teach our students to better perceive these cues and the information that they deliver.

STEAM: The Wave of the Future Embedded in Ideals of the Past
As da Vinci acknowledges, there is an inherent interconnectivity between different academic disciplines and this concept is vital in comprehending how the arts play a meaningful role in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. This piece reflects on the positive effects of integrating the arts in STEM.

Cultivating High-Level Organizational Engagement to Promote Novel Learning Experiences in STEAM
Traditional partnerships in K-12 public education often produce low-level organizational engagement among its partners—one partner funds, the other uses the funds Typically a “partner in education” donates funds, which may benefit students through the purchase of new equipment, staff development experiences, or scholarships. In some cases, an organization may send an expert over to speak with the students about their field. This type of philanthropic outreach is indispensable for schools that need additional support and important for students to gain information from the “real world” but does not necessarily translate into deep, meaningful academic impact.

STEAM Inspired by Insight
Innovators of the 21st century might come from unexpected places. Visual impairment is no barrier when technology and creativity intersect. The world needs blind innovators! The blind input data without visual association and download blueprints of their surroundings to format a mental database. They categorize patterns, textures, and conditions to perceive their location in space. They are able to capture the beauty of the world through poetry and predict future trends through past experience – all without visual access to the physical world they inhabit.

The Sound of STEAM
This field note describes how teachers and students developed an integrated STEAM unit around sound. The project involved dynamic interactions between concepts in math, science, and music.

Full STEAM Ahead: Creativity in Excellent STEM Teaching Practices
This article emphasizes the value of creativity and arts-based learning in the sciences (STEAM education), using one example from a recent research study of creative and effective classroom teachers. The future of innovative thinking in STEM disciplines relies on breaking down the distinction between disciplines traditionally seen as “creative” like the arts or music, and STEM disciplines traditionally seen as more rigid or logical-mathematical (Catterall, 2002). The most exceptional thinkers in fields like science or math are also highly creative individuals who are deeply influenced by an interest in, and knowledge of, music, the arts and similar areas (Caper, 1996; Root-Bernstein, 2003; Dail, 2013; Eger, 2013). In light of this, STEAM must become an essential paradigm for creative and artistically infused teaching and learning in the sciences. I recently conducted a study of creative teaching practices among highly effective teachers (winners/finalists of the National Teacher of the Year program). This article looks at a single case drawn from this study, and considers the arts-based science teaching/learning employed by one of these teachers, Michael Geisen, the 2008 National Teacher of the Year award winner, and a middle school science teacher.

STEAM on Capitol Hill
Our increasingly technology-driven economy demands a workforce that is proficient in both the concepts and techniques of STEM fields as well as in extending those skills into new applications and innovations. Currently, an impressive and diverse coalition of educators, art advocates, industry leaders, and STEM practitioners across the county are working to achieve that goal, bringing their ideas and advocacy to Capitol Hill.

The Importance of Being Creative 
There are many reasons to integrate the Arts into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education policy, but perhaps the greatest is how it fuels creativity. As a scientist, I have found that the most important attribute in scientists that I admire (and scientists that seem to have the greatest impact) is creativity. It is not enough to just master mathematic techniques and memorize scientific facts from books and journal articles. To be a great scientist, it seems, one must also be greatly creative.

Art Meets Science! Get Over it... 
The news headline, when such projects garner attention, usually goes like this – Art Meets Science! Or perhaps Art Merges with Science! or maybe they combine, or art collides with science, or they fuse, join, bond, or unite. And ‘art’ in the phrase usually precedes ‘science’, perhaps because their integration is more typically initiated from the art side of the equation. But whatever the order of the two terms, and whatever verb is used to link them, the tenor of the declaration is typically the same – this is a story worth reporting on, it announces, because the notion of bringing these two disparate domains together is peculiar, unexpected and unconventional.

Reflections: How STEM Becomes STEAM
Reflections from designing a STEAM class for high-risk students.

Merging Science and Art: The Bigger Picture 
It has been stated that artists comprehend and chronicle the completeness of the visible world (Wallach & Bret, 1987), defining Art as the creative expression of knowledge about the visual world. But to what extent does that awareness extend into a scientific appreciation of the world? The acronym STEAM is an abbreviation of Science, Technology, Electronics, Arts and Mathematics. Weaving interactions between Science and Art, have been shown by Clarke and Button (Clarke & Button, 2011), to intensify interconnections between nature, with Landscape, and ultimately with sustainability.

With America slowly awakening to the need to turn out creative and innovative workers who can join the 21st century (its already 2012) workplace -- because they have the new thinking skills --we have to change the current emphasis on STEM, for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to STEAM, by insuring that the whole brain is nurtured through the arts: thus STEAM.

On Cultural Polymathy: How Visual Thinking, Culture, and Community Create a Platform for Progress
Within the last decade, the commingling of art and science has reached a critical mass. Science has long infused the arts with curiosity for natural phenomena and human behavior. New models for producing knowledge have given rise to interaction and collaboration across the globe, along with a renewed Renaissance.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects – alone will not lead to the kind of breathtaking innovation the 21st century demands...So what does it mean to add Art to turn STEM to STEAM?