Adobe Education
Educators and Professional Development Specialists


"STEM to STEAM" is a new buzzword in education. What does STEAM mean to you, and how do you see it impacting your work?
What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries?
How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas?
How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?

This discussion post is part of the Adobe Education Exchange Professional Development Workshop,  Integrating the Arts in to STEM 101: Intro to STEAM

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Posted on 9/3/16 11:26:59 PM Permalink

I think this is a great discussion to have discovered given my current journey as a professional. I am now a principal in a Non- Profit focused in on STEM, yet I have a Art & Design Background so I know well the importance of cultivating the skills of the creative student; so much so that I have advocated almost from day one to integrate Art/Design into our focus.
The role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries is very clear to me, in that creativity, though its execution is carried out in a different form of completion, does motivate innovation along the same lines.
I think the arts influenced my own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas by allowing a free thinking or ideas and approaches to bringing about an idea, solution, concept or problem. though the said idea, solution, concept or problem is addressed with math, science Technological resources or artistic medium, I think we tend to separate the process of learning and innovation in each discipline to further ends of the spectrum than they realistically belong.

Jean-Maree Pool

Posted on 5/19/15 12:02:36 PM Permalink

Like Daniel Cruz, I operate across fields and had my beginnings in Science and Mathematics. As a trained Science and Maths teacher, I always felt that I needed a creative outlet; a way to process and make sense of the world in an aesthetic/creative manner (this was really cathartic!). Since completing a Master of Contemporary Art, I transitioned to teaching Visual Art.

'Innovation' and 'problem solving' are the key components of an 'A' standard in our syllabus. This is not the case for Science subjects which ask students to 'replicate', 'select' and 'justify' (terms are taken directly from the 'A' standard for Visual Art and Chemistry) Yet, the higher order thinking processes inherent in Art remain unrecognized by the majority of educational administrators who seek solutions to data issues within Mathematics and Science by ensuring students do more drills; 'replicating', 'selecting' and 'justifying'.

Perhaps it's time a more creative solution was sought...

Juan Tovar

Posted on 5/17/15 8:12:07 PM Permalink

Debbie Supplitt

Posted on 4/4/15 9:53:19 PM Permalink

Being a Middle School Visual Arts teacher for grades 5-8 I feel that the acronym should be STEAM. For without Art students would not have anything to read, write, watch, or create with. Visual arts crosses all Common Core areas. My job is to bridge the gap and tie into the Core the concepts that visual arts provides to the high order of thinking and knowledge, or CREATE which is at the top of the Blooms academic food chain. Core must understand that without the Arts student may not be able to transform knowledge to any other area, or connect those creative dots to a previous experience.

The College Board has put out a very provocative report showing that students who have had 4 or more years of Art score 95 points higher on their SAT scores. Now that's a study we can all use for advocating the need to continue funding the arts in the United States. Check out the results from the College Board and the Americans for the Arts pdf file here.

Daniel Cruz

Posted on 4/4/15 5:52:43 AM Permalink

I feel I’m privileged because I had the opportunity to study and and work in both the field of science and the field of arts. I studied Chemical Engineering in South America and later on I studied Recording Arts and Music in the UK. My scientific way of thinking has influenced the way I plan and approach creative work. My artistic way of thinking always allows me to innovate or develop unique solutions or strategies. Now that I work for an international school in China, I witness how students that are taught both Computer Technology and Eastern+Western Arts come up with innovative ideas to approach research, to present results and to communicate in non-verbal ways. These days science and technology come hand in hand with design and arts. Companies such as IKEA, Apple, Adobe and Google itself are good examples of this.

nancy williams

Posted on 3/13/15 8:55:08 PM Permalink

I think that art can cross with any subject. I work at a school where we teach the curriculum through art 75% of the time. It naturally gives different entry points and levels for all students to experience the curriculum.

David Conover

Posted on 2/14/15 9:59:03 PM Permalink

STEAM means to me science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. It impacts my work significantly. I use a video game design as a means of remixing all of these elements into a project-based learning experience.

The role of creativity provides iteration and failure as part of the backdrop in STEM industries. It is a major role in the design thinking and systems thinking process. It assists in providing a unique nonlinear perspective.

The arts and humanities are the filters that I understand and experience the every day STEM of life. I am an artist and a musician.

Art is the curious glue that bonds other core subjects together. The task of the instructional designer is to creatively connect the dots to the standards. If you allow the students to create an make their own understanding, by combining art and technology, you have the engaged student learner.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~Vincent Van Gogh.

Jennifer Peters

Posted on 2/12/15 3:52:34 PM Permalink

As a high school art teacher, it is my hope to assist students and identify their interests as related to the creative arts. To help to make a connection for that particular student interested in a career in Journalism or Marketing and to stress the way that the arts and digital media can have a direct impact on the way that they can present themselves in these fields. And always, using a studio production model to engage students' problem-solving skills in a hands-on environment whether individually or collaboratively.

My question is how best to promote these ideas to our administration and community?

Jason Webb

Posted on 1/13/15 7:55:00 PM Permalink

Anyone can come up with a solution to a problem. It takes patience, dedication, and the ability to look at a problem from all angles that pushes people to higher levels of thinking. When I hear words like creative, innovative, and inspiring, I think of art. In STEM, we have a very systematic way of going about a students education that does not allow for the freedom of ideas as much as art does. You can teach design, but it does not engage a student until you allow them to push their creative side and challenge the designs themselves.

Willard Pack

Posted on 11/5/14 11:57:06 PM Permalink

I am a professional engineer who has turned to education for my career, and am now working as the department chair over the physical sciences in a community college. Throughout my post secondary education, I was taught the principles of science and math and how to apply them. We learned how it all went together and were encouraged to learn how to solve problems that were presented to us using our foundation in STEM.
While that education is very useful and practical, it doesn't encourage students to seek solutions that have never been tried. We are taught to turn back to the basic principles taught in class and to use them time and again. That box out of which we're supposed to be thinking is fairly rigid.
Adding the arts and creativity to STEM education allows us to start to see through or over the walls of that box. We stop feeling bound by previous applications of those basic principles we learned in school, but start to find new ways to apply those principles and discover new applications that just might work. If they don't work, we might still see new paths toward solutions that will work.
I think creativity is essential to innovation. Without it, we'll just keep applying those foundational principles to the same old problems, solving them with the same solutions that have always been done. Innovation would essentially die without creativity.

Robert Quant

Posted on 10/18/14 10:27:15 PM Permalink

If we step back and take a look at Architecture we have proof of the impact of Art in Engineering.

The innovators of this country and around the world had/have the ability to visualize the end project, then sit down to design their project. When completed most innovators probably are not looking at what they initially visualized to be their design when they started their project. Their ideas and designs evolved due to design and/or engineering constraints.

Art should go hand-in-hand with STEM or, I think, STEM will die as a "flash in the pan" education philosophy and not continue after the newness of STEM wears off. (Along with the financial support). But, if Art is integrated into STEM/STEAM, then we not only acknowledge the necessity of the Arts, we also bring a whole lot more people into the solutions arena. Along with the continued financial support of a lot more entities than engineering type companies.

I teach Graphics Design using Adobe's CS6 suite of applications, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I am continually referring to artistic techniques (aspect, color wheel and POP) in my lectures and training sessions with m high school students. I find a very small group of students, lets say 5 out of 22 per class, who have taken any type of art or photography class or classes. But, those who have had some artistic training usually put together some very appealing compositions in the classroom.

STEM should be called STEAM and should have from the beginning. Again I think any Architect would agree.

Anne Bown-Crawford

Posted on 10/2/14 7:18:39 PM Permalink

When the A in STEAM integrates arts with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education it sparks the interplay between left-brain convergent thinking and right-brain divergent thinking. In our rapidly changing world, we all need to educate our students to become well-rounded global citizens who have the imagination and skills to conquer new challenges. And, BTW, we should become that type of global citizen ourselves!

One phase of moving into the world of Common Core standards and STEAM education, is helping folks understand the difference in giving students "projects" to work on, and true "project based learning" curriculum. Design thinking is really useful for this type of curriculum.

By networking with industry and business we can engage them in helping us to understand how and why they need employees with innovation and critical thinking skills, how they utilize creativity in their business. Our task, in implementing our new programs that are STEAM centric and project based/design thinking based, is to create a place where students can work in teams on projects that could create change in their world. By creating an atmosphere of real world projects, with the community, our students' learning takes a different, more relevant, tone than in the past.

nockie rivera

Posted on 10/1/14 7:42:49 AM Permalink

What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries?
it brings a much more holistic approach in innovation.

How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas?
i have love arts since i was a small girl now that i am an adult i think it is a right move for STEM to add Arts because Art is a international language that doesn't need a translator.

How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?
art can be intersect with other core subjects i think it can captivate even the most bored student in the class that student
will become more interested if there is an art incorporated on your subject.

Kimberly Larson

Posted on 9/25/14 3:26:37 AM Permalink

I've been pushing others in my state to talk about and educate others on STEAM instead of STEM. By just promoting STEM they are leaving out so many important career fields, people, and contributors of the global workforce. As I watch presentations and see flyers and handouts (basically anything visually related to) for STEM I just want it ask the powers that if they know who designed all their stuff to make it look professional and visually stimulating! Who were the creative problem solvers?

Julie Williams

Posted on 9/25/14 12:58:38 AM Permalink

Our school is just beginning to build awareness amongst the teachers about the whole idea of STEAM. We wanted to incorporate STEAM because we are a techinical high school but many of our academic teachers could not see the connection between the different disciplines. They worked in silos versus together.

tannizia anthony

Posted on 8/15/14 3:31:57 AM Permalink

What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries?

Art offers design solutions to problem solving STEM on the other hand offers a more logical solution to problem solving.

How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas? Creativity allows for one to think out of the normal expectations, this brings new innovation to the core which the other subject areas are seeking to achieve in their problem solving.

How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?

I believe design and technology works very well together so its easier to incorporate the other subjects in your art class.

A Ruo

Posted on 8/11/14 5:04:38 PM Permalink

As an art educator, the inclusion of art + design into STEM is crucial. For me, it adds validity to my role as an educator in the public schools and helps to secure the future of my profession, not just for me but for all arts educators. It will impact my work by bringing the arts to the table as an integral part of educating the whole mind. I was always a student that felt left out in science and math, but I felt I could flourish in the art room. The ability to experiment and solve creative problems really spoke to me and drove my career decisions as I moved forward to college and graduate school. If it hadn't been for art, I am not sure where I would have ended up. To add art + design to the national STEM discussion shows the level of importance the arts has.

I do not teach any Common Core classes, but I do teach Yearbook, Graphic Design and Fine Arts classes. In my Graphic Design class I introduce social studies and social activism and integrate some lessons into these fields. With the yearbook class, it is closely tied to English with writing, editing and journalism. I try to leave lessons open ended so that students begin with a broad "problem" and can use their own ideas to solve it.

Jarvis Grant

Posted on 8/11/14 3:59:57 PM Permalink

What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries?
Art offers design solutions to problem solving. STEM has a tendency to offer management solutions to problem solving. This isn’t wrong, but it is limiting. There is the tendency of offering the same solutions to problems. Whether these solutions are bigger or smaller, they tend to be the same solutions not different.

How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas?
I am an artist, so I have the tendency to approach my personal and professional problems as a designer. So when I’m teaching students a subject in the media arts, I bring up math, English, and science while discussion at hand. This helps students to re-enforce those subject in something they sense as fun to learn.

How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?
As previously stated, I integrate other subject into the instruction of the arts. I do this not to legitimize the arts but to illustrate the practicality of the other core subjects. It is the core subjects that students usually consider un-meaningful. The arts help bridge the core subjects to a student’s life.

Edward Mondragon

Posted on 8/8/14 9:47:42 PM Permalink

1) STEAM is the integration of creative talents through the arts into learning. Creativity is where our country has excelled in the development of new ideas and products; therefore, we must allow students to express their creativity within every aspect of learning. Unfortunately, our traditional instruction tends to be stagnant and eliminates creativity.

2) Creativity, design and the arts allow individuals to think outside of the box which is where new, innovative ideas are generated which are then translated into products or improvements to products. STEM is effective alone, but I believe it can have a stronger effect with the addition of the creative ingenuity of individuals through art.

3) I have generally integrated artistic aspects into my teaching, such as web page design and computer programming, but I integrate creative elements into other classes through the creation of projects such as Prezi and Go! Animate products.

4) Though the implementation of artistic tools, such as Photoshop or Illustrator, I believe educators in all areas could generate more creative talents within students thus presenting information in various manners based upon student-centered ideas. This will allow students to attach their own interpretations to their understanding which will bond better with their background knowledge which will provide better learning on their part.

nancy hoorn

Posted on 7/12/14 7:30:25 PM Permalink

So what is “art” in STEAM – to me it is using the non-STEM parts of the world around us to make the STEM parts useable, and maybe more enjoyable. As mathematicians and scientists, we look for patterns. Then we try to express those patterns with math. Then we want to stop and say that we have solved the problems of the world. WRONG! J

We have discovered the foundation for the solutions. We also need to look for those irregularities that make the patterns in nature work.

What happens if we only look at the STEM part of things? Pacemakers can create a steady, invariable heartbeat – that can kill you! Nature does not use just a few variables when directing the growth of a tree or seashell – and if clams were perfect, we would never see pearls! Inspiration for all endeavors comes from somewhere. Patterns are all around us, including the imperfections that keeps nature from crashing like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or a pace maker program that does not include some built in irregularity.

Leonardo da Vinci did not create his art masterpieces with a ruler and compass! But he did study the patterns in nature and define many of them so that they were easier to comprehend.

Then, he used his artistic talent to make unique creations, both beautiful and useful (first models of cars, aircraft, etc.).

He first understood the patterns, then built on them in unique and wonderful ways.

We need to help our kids understand that what we are teaching them are only tools, not end products.

Katie Flood

Posted on 6/21/14 8:51:11 PM Permalink

I attended the NAEA (National Art Education Association) conference in Seattle, WA in 2011 and saw a presentation by Robert Root-Bernstein on hid research for the book "Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People." It was incredible, and filled with STEAM information! I was so excited to find this course and learn more about building a STEAM program at my school. The role of creativity, design and the arts in STEAM industries is so important. Without any creativity, STEM falls flat. As an art teacher I see the need for creative thinkers, and I also see the value of intersecting art with other subjects. When students can make connections, and think in new ways, the possibilities are endless.

Sherry King

Posted on 6/3/14 7:10:01 PM Permalink

I think that STEAM can potentially engage students that may feel left out (remember, no child left behind), in the traditional classroom settings and possibly change their mindset about certain subject areas. Also, regarding the Math component, students should be encouraged to create math projects using technology to support and reinforce what they are learning in those classes. Our students are new and fresh thinkers and are using technology at a rate that is increasing exponentially daily! STEAM is a great way to inject creativity into other content areas. In the technology classroom, design and creativitiy are encouraged; this should carryover into other classes and content areas as well.

Jose Carrillo

Posted on 5/30/14 5:19:23 PM Permalink

I think the hardest part of trying to convince higher level decision makers that STEAM is a good idea is the fact that most of the decision makers got to BE decision makers because of their dedication and proficiency of STEM and their rejection of the arts as frivolous, or their dedication to Design and Arts, rejecting STEM because it is too stuffy and rigid.

Tenured professors will not want to have their math students make videos or graphics for their course; they'll want them to do homework. Over and Over. Just like they did when they were in school.

Creativity and STEM would work great together. I fear that it just won't be accepted.

karen baker

Posted on 5/28/14 10:25:35 PM Permalink

What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries? Brings about a more complete process in innovation. It provides a more diverse approach to collaboration with multiple discipline teams.

How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas?
Art was a hobby for me as a youth, the more I explored it for self, it became clearer how important it was to me excelling in Science and Math; when I started to take art classes in High School I began to understand a little bit of the correlation. Fast forwarding, It has been an important decision in the careers that I have chosen.
How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?
Art can intersect with Math by teaching an craft such as weaving and knitting. Both require math to even create or design patterns. I have meet former engineers who transitioned into the craft industry easier because art was infused with STEM. The impact is being able to engage a visual learner and thinker more than ever. Introducing the concepts of visual learning into STEM can make reading easier.

kim kelly

Posted on 4/16/14 6:33:01 AM Permalink

What do you see as the role of creativity, design and the arts in driving innovation in STEM industries?

· solving problems in new ways

· solving problems in ways that are sympathetic to people and places

How have the arts influenced your own understanding of and engagement with STEM subject areas?

· solutions that are clearly communicated to other need to draw on artistic skills

· work needs to be beautiful

How can art intersect with other core subjects in your classroom? How might this impact your students’ learning?

· see above

Lauren Ernst

Posted on 3/18/14 10:53:19 PM Permalink

To me STEAM means working more closely with my STEM teachers. Being part of the tech ed. department but more of an artistic subject area (photography & Design) we are sort of an anomaly at my school. STEAM could help me look for ways that the STEM curriculum matches with my curriculum and for ways to integrate that directly to my subject area. For example the formula 1 club could pair up with the photo students to learn about shutter speed and the students could also learn about design from the F1 students. Creativity and design are the key components to STEM, who wants to use a poorly designed product?

dennis wilson

Posted on 2/19/14 2:38:08 AM Permalink

Back in my art school days my printmaking professor told us that the word Art was formed from the Latin word "ars" which essentially meant collection or bring together knowledge. It made sense because of the words use in other fields such as medical arts, communication arts, practical arts. I have seen various versions of the definition of ars but his words were powerful and seem to resonate as I read and contemplate the issue of STEAM. Adding the word art to STEM is a no brainer but emphasizing its intent for creativity and innovation is crucial. I hope that this message makes its way to many that are implementing STEM curriculum and not just art teachers as we have always seen its importance. As an art educator, on the first day of class I inform students and when parents come to my room I inform them, that their children are learning problem solving skills above all else. Yes I am teaching everything from doodling to classical and urban techniques in as many mediums as possible but at the end of the day most of my students will not go on to art school. The skill that will most benefit all students is to embrace failure as a way to learn and conquer and to look at a problem and solve it in a new and inventive way.

Shelley Ortner

Posted on 2/17/14 1:22:59 PM Permalink

I am fortunate to work as a visual arts teacher in a public magnet high school that values and incorporates creativity and art into it's curriculum. I find myself turning to the STEAM model time and time again for my lessons and my colleagues do as well. The work the students create in all of their subjects (both core and theme classes) is inspiring and important in today's "teach to the test" climate.

kathy chastain

Posted on 11/14/13 8:02:10 PM Permalink

I like this concept of STEM to STEAM very much. It is easy to look at education's leadership role, or lack thereof(NCLB), over the past decade and longer, and see the real impact of losing so many of the arts courses in public education. All of the negative numbers that define education have continued in a negative direction and many of the positives have also disappeared, or become negative. It has manifested itself in our students in many negative ways. Taking the arts and creativity out of the curriculum has created many students that don't know how to access these attributes and their education has suffered as a result. Never forget, as 4 year olds, we are ALL creative. It's easy to look at the government directed initiatives that have impacted education and see the results in our college students who are unprepared when they arrive, increased drop-out rates across the country and low and dropping scores in every area. By reducing education to it's lowest common denominator, we have denied countless students the opportunity to discover their own creative thinking paths. The impact is quite combining the arts with core areas, we create avenues to learning that are engaging to students and have the potential to fuel the spark that is self-motivation. Hopefully, it will re-introduce the joys of learning that our educational system has managed to extinguish.

Mary Slumpff

Posted on 11/3/13 2:49:46 PM Permalink

According to the definition of art: is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful,appealing,

or of more than ordinary significance.

We need to rethink that art is not just a painting or a sculpture. We can apply this definition to STEM content and foster creativity. A math model can have significance without being turned into a painting.

Denise Orenstein

Posted on 10/12/13 1:38:03 AM Permalink

This past year I spent some time thinking of how my art students could jump into this methodology. I wrote a grant and won funds to pilot a simple project. I feel STEAM has always been around, quietly working hand in hand with the CORE subjects. I was able to show how a simple idea in the art room wove through math, science,ecology and health. The schools need our creative minds and input to finesse the other subjects

Steven Lustig

Posted on 10/8/13 9:41:06 PM Permalink

The arts are not an enrichment. They are a core value. They are a core learning ability that enhances and informs all other forms of learning.

I constantly hear the arts referred to as an ”enrichment". As if it is something additional, beyond which we could live without. By allowing others to define the arts as an enrichment we have given them the power to subtract this important teaching tool from our schools and our kids lives.

With competition from every corner of the globe increasing, we need to return this valuable asset back into our schools, to allow creativity back into kids education, encourage entrepreneurship and develop a more integrated learning culture.

kent thompson

Posted on 6/23/14 12:11:54 PM Permalink

well put...

Jered Martinez

Posted on 10/2/13 8:57:12 PM Permalink

I like seeing the intersection of various subject areas. It's so great to implement from one area to another. I have a degree in math so when I tell people that I make short films as well they don't see the connection. I think that art/entertainment can be a perfect vehicle for PBL. Create a movie: have a business department, craft services, producers, builders, contracts, permits, lighting (color of light/physics), actors, story, camera angle (mathematics) - I see creativity as our greatest strength for a strong future.

nicki allen

Posted on 9/25/13 4:54:00 PM Permalink

It is crucial that we start helping students perceive subjects as interconnected and related to each other as it a better reflection of how the world really operates. The subjects taught in most education systems are actually quite arbitrary and are based on a tradition which started over a hundred years ago in a completely different context. Integrating the arts across all subjects will help broaden young peoples awareness and ability to apply skills and understanding to different fields of knowledge and experience.

Phyllis Kaupp Seas

Posted on 8/26/13 10:37:34 PM Permalink

Integration of art and design into the sciences, technology, engineering, and math has always seemed like it should be a part in my opinion, but as a math major, with a love of all the arts, it seemed to come naturally to me. I am so glad to see that the total integration is being brought about in education, so that individuals can begin to utilize all their ideas in whatever situation to solve the challenges, rather than just look for getting the RIGHT ANSWER on the test. It should make for much more well roundedp, interested students who will not give up the excitement they are experiencing in this new learning environment.

I feel as an educator, we will continually be growing ourselves in insuring that the students are having opportunities to demonstrate their creativity to the fullest in all their subject areas or learning activities.

As demonstrated by one of the video, Leonardo da Vinci utilized all the arts, sciences, mathematics, etc. in his journaling to understand and progress in his interests. So should be an example that integration inspiration means....full STEAM ahead!

robert generette iii

Posted on 7/26/13 1:32:04 PM Permalink

As an art educator, "STEM to STEAM" validates a place for my passion and discipline in today's preparation for tomorrow. Art now has a defining role of determining "how". That "how" thus lead to innovation because there is no set path or direction. Thus, the implementation of STEM is more divergent. Artists and designers utilize higher order thinking in their everyday activities and solve problems by looking "outside of the box". Those same methodologies could be applied to precalculus, physics and/or technology. With the implementation of art (A), the engagement of students are increased, for there is now a creative driving force being applied to STEM. That driving force is STEAM, and STEAM drives.

Stacey Jenkins

Posted on 7/25/13 2:43:54 PM Permalink

Art & design are the ultimate applications of knowledge. We (artists and designers) know the value of integration, but it seems we have to be even more creative, because, we have yet to devise an effective strategy to market this philosophy to our education system. Testing and core curriculum institutions are not buying what we have to sell...and continue to look for the quick, and are increasingly satisfied with, ...the short term - "just get the answer right on the test" fix.

Stacey Jenkins

Posted on 7/25/13 2:43:03 PM Permalink

Art & design are the ultimate applications of knowledge. We (artists and designers) know the value of integration, but it seems we have to be even more creative, because, we have yet to devise an effective strategy to market this philosophy to our education system. Testing and core curriculum institutions are not buying what we have to sell...and continue to look for the quick, and are increasingly satisfied with, ...the short term - "just get the answer right on the test" fix.

Elaine Barnum

Posted on 6/25/13 2:20:25 PM Permalink

Our school is about to embark on the STEM curriculum so I feel this is very timely for me to learn about STEAM as it helps to give me a leg to stand on in trying to integrate art and technology into the overall structure of the collaborative curriculum. The arts and technology should be given a more "substance status" in value as core curriculum and not left as "just another optional elective."

Jeff Larson

Posted on 6/19/13 8:17:12 PM Permalink

As a long time arts educator, it was clear early on that the arts and especially design, had a strong role to play in teaching students how to engage with and access emerging web and digital technologies. Design is the face of technology, the place where most of us interact and work with computers and media especially. To me STEAM not STEM acknowledges the importance of design and creativity in all areas of Science, Tech, and Engineering. All of these areas have traditionally been given more support and backing than the arts, and the push for STEAM is not, as some may feel a dilution of the areas of science, but in fact an acknowledgement that arts/design play a crucial part in the development and communication of these fields. I just ran across a quote from Einstein, where he states that his ongoing pursuit of playing the violin was essential to the development of his theories of relativity. It is time to shift people and institutional views of the arts as being important solely because of their emotive qualities (i.e. Art makes students feel good), to include the understanding that art and design foster cognitive development and critical thinking. STEAM also offers an opportunity for students who are interested in the arts to see the intersection and develop their appreciation and engagement with science and engineering. This should not be framed in an either or way. In the past no one saw these fields or areas as mutually exclusive or more important than another. A good case in point...Leonardo DaVinci!!!

Lisa Canter

Posted on 6/14/13 3:08:50 AM Permalink

I think that design and technology do go hand in hand in encouraging effective innovation.