Vision: From Robotics to arts, science and hands-on learning, all elementary schools are equipped with STEAM learning opportunities to ignite curiosity in students and prepare them for the future.
A STEAM learning model that is built on the foundational elements of inquiry, 21st century skills, digital citizenship, and learning partnerships does more than teach students the importance of science, technology, engineering, art and math-it shows them that they can think and work like scientists, engineers, artists and mathematicians and that their work is not prescribed or fixed, but fluid and changing.
What is STEAM?
In education, STEAM is an integrated approach that incorporates the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math as a means of developing student inquiry, communication and critical thinking during learning (Riley, 2014). This is an adaptation of STEM, which highlights the connection of two or more content areas to guide instruction through observation, inquiry and solving problems (Riley, 2014). Furthermore, STEAM is not a single curricular area, rather, it is an approach to connecting and deepening each of the curricular areas that it addresses by integrating the standards that are a part of each individual area and shifting learning behaviors and environment to support students achievement of targeted standards (Riley, 2014).
Addition of the “A”
The addition of arts to the STEM learning model reflects society’s increasing focus on innovation and design as integral to these fields of study. Children deserve to have rich experiences across a wide range of disciplines, and artistic skills, creativity and curiosity are in high demand when a project is focused on the visual and performing arts--from narrating a film to making a robot dance (Martinez and Stager, 2013).