STEAM-Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture/Arts, and Mathematics

STEAM Framework by definition is Science and Technology which is understood as the basis of what the world needs to go forward, to be analyzed and developed through Engineering and the Arts. All of this is based on mathematic knowledge. STEAM is a relative curriculum where the subjects are taught in support of one another on the bases of an educational structure of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and to broaden the spectrum by incorporating the arts. Each component is relevant to one another. This framework, not only includes the art of design, but also the art components of the liberal, language, musical, and physical. The STEAM structure explains how all the components of education and life work together, therefore it offers a formal place in the STEM structure for the Language Arts, Social Studies, and the purposeful integration of the exploratory subjects including; the Arts, Music, and Physical Education components of private education. A STEAM perspective means understanding learning contextually; not only in terms of having a framework that illustrates where the subjects overlap, but also in providing a living and adaptable learning structure for ever-changing personal and unpredictable global development.

S-T-E-M with the A includes;

  • sharing knowledge with communication and language arts, ‘voice’ – impact, power, legacy
  • a working knowledge of manual and physical arts, including how-to and fitness,
  • better understanding the past and present cultures and aesthetics through the fine arts,
  • rhythmic and emotional use of math with the musical arts,
  • understanding sociological developments, human nature and ethics with the liberal arts

Programs:
STEAM has been proving successful in schools all around the world to better teach academic and life skills through standards and realistic instruction. STEAM creates an exploratory learning environment that enhances creative thinking and learning. It is adaptable, strong, benchmarked, measurable, and reinforces NCLB, state standards, and integrates with the Common Core in unique and engaging ways. It is backed with the major educational philosophies, classroom management and assessment strategies. It promotes deeper understanding and transference of knowledge across the subjects. It is used for developing model educational programs to create functionally literate people by increasing the depth and breadth of proficiency in all students and educators and the communities they influence. It works by expanding a program’s current lesson plans into STEAM plans for more realistic discovery and innovation for all types of learners

STEAM can help make good education better. The STEAM framework can fit anywhere and take innumerable shapes, and if used purposely can be a very powerful and enjoyable tool for teaching and learning at any level for any topic. It delivers high quality team-based education to all students. Preparing children for a growing variety of careers is important to advance the global society and economies. Careers, past, current and potential are organized to be taught with STEAM. Students are taught to evaluate needs, wants and opportunities in order to be informed users, responders and innovators. It prepares students to be life-long learners in pursuit of college, skilled trade programs, potentially yet unknown career paths and well-balanced lives.

STEAM is a whole-learner, community-involved and influenced learning environment. It has a
living-curriculum structure that is representative of the surrounding culture and aware and tolerant of all types of diversity, perspectives and changes.

Classrooms: Embedded in the framework is a system to establish well-balanced teams among
educators and students based on a variety of characteristics. All participants have ways they are advanced and are challenged. With this system, their skills are used for leading in some areas while other areas are strengthened through observing and assisting. Educators instruct within their specialty with co-planned thematic units and that everyone contributes to projects related to the required benchmark concepts and skills. There are times when various groups of educators co-teach overlapping subject areas and assignments. Special times are designated for working on projects, so that as new concepts are learned they can be applied and built upon. The classrooms and common areas become a network of specialty topics in a living and growing discovery place.

Students: All learners further investigate and coordinate topics and tangents, learn and teach others for more perspectives in discussions and on projects. This results in an impressive variety of viable solutions and extensions to authentic problems. They soon start using knowledge and skills from across the subjects to back up their discussions and have deeper understanding and recall of concepts when reminded of related activities. Students develop an ability to recognize and respect their own and others’ varying skill sets and intelligences. They learn how to best fit into teams based on roles that they have a predisposition to do well at, and learn how they and others create society. They more naturally know how to use team dynamics help solve conflicts and side conversations are reported as being more on-topic. Students look forward to these activities and take more measures to prepare for missing work during these times.

Classroom and SPED teachers report that students with IEP’s and 504’s are more engaged. Special,
ESL and advanced learners get more of what they need academically and interactively from the team-based approach and need fewer specialized pull-out sessions. Participants feel group identity and pride with fellow students and the school, something that is often under-cultivated. They feel a shift from ME (the singular student) to WE (an active participant in the global community.)

Educators: STEAM Educators report feeling rejuvenated by richer living work environments. They have the ability to use more diversification of teaching methods and be more of a facilitator to learners. It empowers educators to meet the guidelines in a variety of unique and engaging ways and to meaningfully cross-reference concepts and vocabulary. They have the opportunity to teach collaboratively, exchange ideas, have easier preparations for substitutes and have more productive common planning times. The teachers report feeling the positive shift from ME to WE. They report more personal and student engagement with student self-direction for project-based, discovery learning. They state that through the structure of rubric-based portfolios and process work, they have a better (broader and deeper) understanding of what their students prove they know in different ways including what they can tangibly accomplish. Educators can better match their learning objectives and goals to the variety of learners they encounter.

Communities: STEAM promotes a structure of community and business partnerships with schools and has a record of higher engagement among educators, all levels and types of students and families for both program and ecological sustainability. STEAM programs rotate displays in the common areas of the schools and have community meetings and program information nights.
Educators report parent engagement and donations are increasing.

Themes: STEAM Education is how ALL subjects and peoples are recognized and can contribute. All effort is encouraged. Many programs choose to revolve their STEAM curriculum framework around themes, such as;

  • Power & Energy
  • Elements & Processes
  • Life & Movement
  • Transportation
  • Communication
  • Music
  • Inventions

It is necessary to have many varied experiences for students to be successful in this rapidly developing technological world, but it can still be done inexpensively.

This information is shared from an article on STEAM in order to accurately educate parents. For more information visit http://www.steamedu.com/