STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Before there was STEAM, there was “STEM”. The “A” was added later based on the idea that, through the integration of arts with other disciplines, students who have not been traditionally as engaged in math and science are able to build confidence and be exposed to new opportunities in these areas that support their learning across the curriculum. I would also propose the opposite idea is true, that “STEAM” activities facilitate opportunities for students who are interested in maths and sciences to have an accessible entry point to the arts.
Striving for deep learning means creating an infrastructure during activities that requires students to think, question, create and take ownership of their learning. STEAM also helps highlight the real life application of skills. For example, “design challenge” STEAM activities require students to work together to create a product that meets certain criteria, giving them a practical purpose. In fulfilling this requirement, they also have the opportunity to communicate with peers, ask questions, imagine possibilities, plan collaboratively and improve their design in a cycle of learning. They also learn that failure and improvement are a part of learning…a valuable life lesson!
At the end of the day, we all want our students to be happy, well-rounded, engaged learners that have the skills required to support them in their journey through life. STEAM activities are one of many paths that can be used to facilitate this goal.
Click on the photos below for a description of each STEAM project.