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From STEM to STEAM?
Have you heard the new buzz word -- STEAM?
"STEAM represents the economic progress and breakthrough innovation that comes from adding art and design to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and research: STEM + Art = STEAM. The value of art and design to innovation is clear: Artists and designers humanize technology, making it understandable and capable of bringing about societal change. The tools and methods of a studio-based education offer new models for creative problem solving, flexible thinking and risk-taking that are needed in today’s complex and dynamic world." source is http://stemtosteam.org/
I think of Leonardo Di Vinci who was a mathematician, scientists, inventor and artist. I like the idea of STEAM. What do you think?
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In support of STEAM not STEM I found an interesting article.
Forget STEM: “To the dreadful summit of the cliff” by Peter Meyer in the Education Next archives.
It makes for interesting reading.
Last year I organized our schools first STEM Day, but this year we are changing it to STEAM Day---putting the arts in STEM. During STEAM Day students will rotate through hands-on workshops to learn a little more about STEM subjects and how the arts support STEM.
Here are a few websites that discuss the movement of STEM to STEAM. I think it is important that students realize how the arts can support STEM and, in turn, how advances in many artistic fields are a direct result of STEM research.
This site features a white paper that explains why the US needs to focus more on the arts and how the arts are crucial to innovation required in the design process.
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Thanks for those websites and information.
The A in STEAM for us is Aerospace. We are an aerospace magnet school. Sometimes I find it hard to get the Arts in our curriculum. Some of my students are very talented illustrators. I try to work drawing and illustrating in during science lab and their science notebooks.
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Art can be incorporated in a number of ways. For my art component of my undergraduate degree I took a course in scientific illustrations. With this said you students can certainly address arts with that component. However, there are many more art and science components. I am going to attach my science and art collection. There may be something in there for you.
Our STEM Academy also uses the acronym STEaM - there is a strong link between art and STEM. I also occasionally see STEMM - the second M for medical.
As the STEM movement continues to mature, hopefully we will see many more interconnections with other content areas and disciplines that will help students engage students in more STEM activities.
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Wonderful article in the Post yesterday about the annual NSF visualizations competitions--definitely an enticement for artistic scientists.
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The STEAM concept isn't bad in theory. Certainly there are gorgeous art shows with microscopy, visualizations and the like. But the problem is you have limited time in class, and teachers already have enough trouble delivering STEM material. So much so-called STEM material has a lot of ancillary, non-hands-on, transparently fake, or semi-irrelevant material. I feel we have to keep the focus where it belongs.
You want to come up with activities that:
1. Teach kids to build something together
2. Teach an underlying scientific principle, correctly.
3. Do it in as little time as possible, so you can move to the next topic.
The second point here is surprisingly hard to find. So much material out there mis-states the real science, or skims over it.
My position is that activities like:
Watching video clips
Writing a business plan to "sell" the product.
Are all wonderful reinforcement of the basic activity, and should be done in other classes, or at home. Teach the whole period, use it all for STEM. It's not like you're swimming in time.
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I actually think STEAM is the first step in the proverbial pendulum swinging back in the opposite direction. For years now we've been focused solely on reading, writing, and math. Then STEM became important, now we're talking about STEAM. Experienced educators have said all along that we must educate the whole child, not just one or two parts.
I don't think it's possible for science teachers to solely teach STEAM and do it well. It's just not possible. Collaboration with other colleagues, such as art teachers, will definitely be necessary. The same should already be true for other disciplines, such as math and language arts.
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My principal addressed our staff last week and stated the need for strong “STEAM” education. I thought she had miss-spoke and mispronounced STEM. I was a little embarrassed for her and then a few moments later I realized what she meant by STEAM. I initially balked at the idea and then didn’t think about it again until I started reading this post. I am a 6th grade Science teacher – who is supposed to incorporate Art as well. Over the years I have done very little art with my students as I don’t have many artistic skills and don’t feel very comfortable teaching art. But reading this post and listening to the many videos/articles posted, I am beginning to think differently. It makes sense to link Art and design to Science and now I am starting to see how design may be the driving necessary force to create good new innovative technology. I feel like I haven’t been doing right by so many of my kids who are artistic. I feel very challenged and excited to figure out ways that I can incorporate more art/design into my science lessons/projects… I know the kids would love it!! Thank you so much for this post as it has really given me food for thought!
One thing I have started doing through a professional development class I am taking is trying to incorporate popular movie clips into my science lessons. This may be one way of beginning to tie in the arts to science.
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I'm with Kendra. Trying to re-energize the study of science is in reality an old idea reinvented again. Yes, we have to teach the whole students. Looking at Garners multiple intelligences indicates that not everyone is in the same place. Incorporating the A as in art will allow students not directly interested in science to become interested in science. Those of us who have had an opportunity to listen to Paul G. Hewitt explain how he got interesting in science being an artist first would understand the need to engage all sorts of students. Learning is a team adventure and the most successful teams should incorporate the greatest abilities of all the members of the team. With that said, I am for STEAM more than STEM.
Adah, I just read an article in March's Science and Children that give steam to STEAM! It is called, "Banishing Bradford Pears".
Students debate a local environmental issue as they role-play. This particular environmental issue helped students "develop a deeper understanding of diversity and interrelationships among organisms" (p.30)). It is an excellent example of how the art of "role'playing" can be used to help students learn about important environmental science issues.
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Thank you so much for sharing that with all of us. Perhaps there are other article about this topic readers of this thread might know about and share with all of us.
Moving to STEAM is indicative of where we are today when it comes to solving problems. We have moved into an era where problems, particularly environmental problems, can only be solved using a multdisciplinary approach. The new science framework focusess on cross-cutting principles; establishing the relationships between subjects is essential.
As for as including the arts in STEM, art and innovation often go hand in hand. An interesting read is found at The Art of Science Learning.
The article explains that painter-scientists developed something called frequency hopping and that stitches used in the operating room are based on the patterns of lace.
The author states that "almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences are actively engaged in arts as adults. They are twenty-five times as likely as average scientist to sing, dance, or act; seventeen times as likely to be an artist; twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature; eight times more likely to do woodworking or some other craft; four times as likely to be a musician; and twice as likely to be a photographer. Many connect their art with their scientific creativity."
As someone who is not an artist, I found the article to be quite intriguing...enjoy
Although I do not know much about STEAM being first introduced to it as a future teacher has made me an advocate of it. I think that the A for art is great to incorporate. I love art, and I think art can enhance lessons in science, most of the time they go hand- in- hand.
I just want to say thanks for giving me a little more insight into this topic.
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I may have missed it, but besides drawings of observations and the like, how do you incorporate more art into the science classroom? I'm concerned about doing art just for the sake of doing art, and I don't know that I have that kind of time. Do any of you use differentiated instruction to incorporate some art for some students and not others? How do you approach this idea practically? Thanks for the great insights!!
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Thank you for that very good question. I would like to clarify what is mean by art. It isn't just art such as scientific drawing or journaling it is the 'arts' which includes drama, poetry and such. I am going to attach my collection about science and the arts for you to look at. I hope this helps you.
Keep on asking those good questions.
Tom Kornberg and Emanuel Ax have been friends since they were students together at Columbia College and The Juilliard School. While Kornberg pursued a career in biology, he and Ax still enjoy playing together on occasion. Here they play Beethoven’s Cello Sonata no. 3 in A major, 1st movement.
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Thanks for sharing that link---what a fascinating discussion between the two gentlemen. Do you think that the ability to play an instrument allows the brain to be more creative and that the creativity can be used to solve scientific problems?
Three years ago our regional science fair used the "Science of Art and the Art of Science" as a theme... we partnered with a local university art department, explored the connections and held an exhibit for visitors to view while projects were being judged... it was great... I heard some others suggest another A - for architecture. :o} Kids do love to build things!
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To me, the arts can be incorporated in simple ways. We made hot air balloons in my classroom this past school year. Science concepts - density and energy transfer (other concepts are there, but this is what we emphasized), Math concepts - a scale drawing of the pattern was given, students needed to create their own pattern based on the measurements provided. Students also used models to estimate the volume of the balloons. Engineering - while the design was provided to students, students still went through the design cycle and tested their balloons prior to launch. Feedback from the tests was used to improve on their balloons. Technology (this was the weakest integration) - video of the balloons, computer-based drawings, and presentations of material learned incorporated technology. Art - students were asked how to create certain effects using the colored tissue paper, things like stripes and checkerboarding. This may seem to be overly simple, but my students struggled all year with shapes and mental models.
I don't think any part of the the STEAM should be forced. If it is not there, it is not there. Integrating as much of the disciplines as possible is important, but why would a teacher create an "artificial" connection. In the hot air balloon project, I will be relooking at the technology component and the arts component in how well did students learn or use previous skills.
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Thaank all of you for your comments and ideas. This forum is interesting. I am wondering if the arts will be incorporated in the new standards?
What is your opinion?
Innovate Our World is holding our first STEAM (STEM to the Arts) one-day conference on June 22 in Baltimore. We're looking for presenters and attendees interested in how STEAM can work in our schools. See our site: http://www.innovateourworld.org/conference.htm or go to http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5pjxcfs1f3e2091&llr=joei7cjab for more info.
If you are interested in using drawing to better understand how students are learning science and how your teaching is affecting their learning, check out http://drawntoscience.org/. Lots of great (free) resources!
An overview of digital storytelling and how it might be adapted for middle school math and science classrooms.
Has anyone tried this?
The question about STEM and art can also be explained by looking a PaulG. Hewitt's Conceptual Physics books. He was an artist and a lefty who came to appreciate physics and started writing about concepts. I was fortunate to meet him and take his course called Drawing in Physics. His neckless characters help explain concepts and would definitely be considered an art form. Art doesn't have to be fancy or elaborate. Art helps explain with just drawing about a concept. I have seen this in 5th grade science lessons where students draw their interpretation of an event or concept -- water cycle, cycle of life, etc.
I don't remember if I already did this but I am attaching my collection of articles from the Learning Center about art and science. I hope it sheds some light on what is art. It isn't just time consuming, it is a way to reach right brain thinkers like Paul Hewlett.
I am fascinated by Hewitt's work and wondering if incorporating art into science classes will help students master concepts better--after all, there certainly is a lot of literature out there linking concept maps to learning. What are your thoughts?
Aside from actually reading his physics book, going to his workshop explained why I related to him so much. As I am, he is a lefty and therefore right brained. Art will connect your right-brained students to physics a great deal like he has. We often only address learners who are left-brained right-handed. The art in my humble opinion helps the lefties get on board. Also, as I remember, when going to training for students with limited English as well as students who are struggling learners, drawing out concepts helps them remember better.
Just a thought. What do you have to lose by trying it out for a part of the school year?
I have attached my collection that connects art with science.
I found some of the ideas at this website very intriguing
Learn how drawings can be used as evidence to support research on science teaching and learning.
Use drawings to collect information about your own teaching and your students' thinking about learning science.
View drawings of teaching and learning science by undergraduate teacher education majors.
I don't think any part of the the STEAM should be forced. If it is not there, it is not there. Integrating as much of the disciplines as possible is important, but why would a teacher create an "artificial" connection.
The ideas suggested in this thread so far have been awesome! I like the idea of integrating art, when appropriate to further engage my students in the study of science. I often use role-play and the creation of different student generated products as models for explanations of difficult science concepts.
Yet, I would like to go back to Caryn's comment above and say, I agree. If acronyms help us better remember to teach in an integrated manner, than I am all for it. However, my fear would be the exclusion of other aspects of an integrated curriculum. To paraphrase a comment made in the NSTA Listserve: Why not use STREAM? - with the R for reading or STREAMM with another M for medical or...where does it end? or does it? (I am totally playing devil's advocate here) Thoughts?
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I think it is difficult in a science class room to NOT include Art. I can think of NO lab reports that were void of drawings. I took a class in college called Photography for Biologists. The premise of the class was that scientifically valid photos could still be aesthetically pleasing. It was taught by the curator of the natural history museum on campus. One of the display areas in my class this year is "Full STEAM ahead"
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Ruth Catchen write a blog on STEM to STEAM
http://ruthcatchen.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/stem-into-steam-integrate-today/ This has a video link under the photo)
The presentations that I've seen about expanding "STEM to STEAM" have included all sorts of language and visual arts topics that I would not feel capable or comfortable with as part of my thirty years of teaching physics, math, and electronics at the high school and technical college levels. In addition, the current content packed into a semester has more than doubled since I began my career, so there is not time nor resource to include any "arts" content, as such, into the courses.
Now I certainly will agree that there are critical thinking, workplace relationships, and life skills that are important to the STEM curriculum, and I have implemented them as part of the learning process in the classroom. Yet the actual instruction of those techniques belongs to the "soft skills" departments providing instruction in the language, fine arts, and social sciences.
I do not mean to imply that a STEM curriculum has a priority over other parts of the student's learning and experience. It's just that we already have enough to do teaching the "hard skills" that adding any more topics or lessons will dilute the effort and the results.
So a description of "STEM+", rather than "STEAM", might be more appropriate to linking the "external" natural sciences to the "internal" social arts. Maybe the arts community needs to come up with its own acronym, so we can say "STEM+LSFA", for example, to balance the relative importance of each knowledge domain.
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I am wondering if showing connection between STEM and the arts might be simply a judicious choice of examples. You mentioned teaching electronic and there certainly is a lot of electronic music. I heard Herbie Hancock a few yrs back improvising with Apple 3G systems.
I think one goal for me has been for students to understand that science does not progress in a vacuum but is rather informed by the broader culture. Just as Galileo faced opposition from the Catholic church, similar issues arise in discussion about evolution, climate change and stem cell research. If science provides framework for understanding our physical world , art provides a framework for understanding our subjective emotional experience. Ultimately the two are connected
I understand Bob's viewpoint, however, I agree with Pamela that art is a subjective expression of emotions, and with that said, I like the idea of incorporating more art into STEM in the classroom. When I was doing research in a neuro-endocrinology lab at the John Burns' Medical School, my professor had a very hard time with me working part-time at a runaway youth shelter and also being part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Chamber and Symphony Orchestras. I was also taking a lot of ceramics classes at that time. My professor could not understand that at all. My point is that there was no connection between the STEM and art at that time. I think that as professionals, we have a responsibility to teach all students. Students who have an affinity to art might also be a great scientist one day...if only we tie them together and teach by integrating subject areas. I don't think that it's the teacher's lack of ability or knowledge of how to do it. I think it might be a system error because when you look at the big picture, teachers specialize in content areas because of the school system and how it is set up. Perhaps high school classes are set up this way because college is set up this way and college readiness is at the forefront of public education issues. Then the situation is a Catch-22 because if we don't tap into the creative, artsy part of our students' brains in "hard sciences", we could be turning some students off to going to college. They might not know how to make that connection between art and STEM if we are not explicit in our instruction. I have the opportunity to do this as I teach 5th grade math, science, art, and health. Others probably don't have the same opportunity to integrate areas like I do.
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It has been awhile since I responded in this forum.
I found an interesting article that talks about the connection between science and the arts. I am going to post it here in the hope that some of you will have the time to read it. After you do perhaps you can add a comment in this forum.
The article is called "The Art of Scientific and Technological Innovations" and it is written by
Robert Root-Bernstein on April 11, 2011
A Newark, Ohio, high school is testing a "school within a school" concept to better engage students who are visual learners. Under the program, participating students complete visual art projects for academic courses, such as English and social studies, and then display the artwork they created. Officials say the program allows students who think differently to still be successful and earn the credits they need to graduate.
There is an upcoming conference on STEAM "Full STEAM Ahead: Pathways to the Future"
San Francisco Bay Area STEAM Colloquium
February 8, 2013 • 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
San Ramon Valley Conference Center, San Ramon, CA
They are currently looking for proposals and presenters. The deadline is November 3rd
I can definitely see the value in incorporating arts into the STEM process. With all of the pressures on teachers, we often forget to teach the whole child. In fact, one of the steps in the STEM-based lesson process is "design/plan".
For example, yesterday I had my students create models of spiders out of construction paper, straws, tape, and other classroom materials. Their spider had to fit certain criteria: segmented body, eight legs, etc. They worked in pairs and their goal was to create the largest spider they could that would hold the most weight (washers). They had to measure their spiders (how tall and how wide) and perform trials to see how they could modify their spider to hold more weight. But before they could start their building, the students had to design their spiders and come up with a plan on paper. This incorporated art by allowing them to draw (and color if time) their designs. After the students built their spider, they were allowed to decorate them using crayons, markers, more paper, etc. This was another way that art was incorporated into the lesson. This lesson was for third grader, so I found it fairly easy to include the art aspect. It might be more difficult for teachers of middle and high school, who only have one class period to teach their lesson, to include art.
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I just found this wonder blog on biological illustration
Pen and ink illustrations of plants are found most often in field guides. They convey a great deal of information and are attractive works of art, even though being a “work of art” might not be their primary purpose.
The intended purpose of this blog is to connect artists, naturalists, and educators
When scientists and artists don’t typically have professional reasons for mixing, what are the mechanisms that enable collaboration? Is it the sort of thing that happens at a dinner party, where a painter and a biologist unwittingly decide that a collaborative project would be a good idea? That certainly could be the case, but there are other ways in which these things happen.Read more
I just learned about a new website for STEAM and a person of interest.
Her name is Georgette Yakman.
There is much to learn at the following site:
I am all for STEAM. One of the 'outside of class' assignments is to attend a form of performance art and write a 75-100 word synopsis of what they saw and how science was 'portrayed'.
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I think that incorporating Art into science, math, technology, and engineering make perfect sense. A few years ago I read a book called Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci by Bülent Atalay (ISBN: 1-58834-171-2). It's an excellent book that explores the links between art, math, and science. It's an excellent book for anyone who is interested in studying the inter-curricula links between these subjects.
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Great idea Maureen. I am working with an academy that is a STEAM academy and will be working with their magnet school designation of Media production. They have a complete media production center on campus. They will be incorporating the media as part of the A in STEAM. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate science into the arts. More to come.
YUN KYOUNG LEE
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STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education has been a major component to 21st-century learning in K12, but some say the acronym needs to be more inclusive. Several groups created by educators have emerged to support the push for the addition of an “A” to STEM, for STEAM, to represent the disciplines of art.
Hi everyone. There are a lot of responses and information on this thread in regards to the STEM-to-STEAM conversion and, as a mere college student, I have been tasked to write on the difference between STEM and STEAM. While there is a lot of advocacy for STEAM, there is very little said on the STEM side. And, because this paper requires me to include both sides of the argument, I've had to draw my own points in support of STEM.
Below, I have listed two points of skepticism and I was wondering if you could respond with my statements. Doing so would give me more insight to STEAM and its impacts and would be of great help in understanding this complex issue. Thank you.
1) Advocates of STEAM state that numerous scientists are also artists (or appreciate art) and therefore, art is a large part of STEM- enough to merit an extra letter. However, going by that line of logic, if many scientists are also athletes, should we add an 'S' for sports to the acronym? The same argument can also be adding an 'R' for reading or 'W' for writing. Where do we draw the line?
2) Many of the contributors on this thread explained how they integrated arts into their classroom. Whether it involves coloring or drawing, it adds fun and enthusiasm to the lessons. However, the art is not the point of the lesson itself; the point of the lesson is to teach kids STEM with art being a 'vehicle' that makes the lesson easier. So if the point of art is just a 'vehicle' or technique to teaching STEM (the end-all lesson), does that mean that art skills are just as important as the lesson itself? Or, in an analogy: if you use video games to teach reading, is gaming just as important as learning the alphabet?
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I am glad you asked us to respone to the two points.
1. Reading and Writing are not a discipline that stands alone. Reading and writing are essential to all forms or pretty much all forms of communications and doesn't usually stand alone. We read in science, engineering, etc. We communicate by writing to others or stating the outcomes of an experiment.
2. Art is not just a wehicle to learn STEM. In PBL you might want to create a Public Service Document via video or you might what to create a vehicle that people like to look at and performs well. I am not sure how athletics would fit in all aspects of STEM. Sure people run and such but it is not essential for STEM. Students can create an augmented reality game as a product.
I hope this addresses your questions.
Thank you for the book suggestion. I love science and art too. I love the addition of A to STEM but I haven't given it enough thought to consider the comment about adding an S for sports or an initial for any other subject.
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Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech are examining the intersection of art and science
This is a great clip
You asked some great questions! Here's my take the points you've made:
[b][i]1) Advocates of STEAM state that numerous scientists are also artists (or appreciate art) and therefore, art is a large part of STEM- enough to merit an extra letter. However, going by that line of logic, if many scientists are also athletes, should we add an 'S' for sports to the acronym? The same argument can also be adding an 'R' for reading or 'W' for writing. Where do we draw the line?
As educators, we are always trying to find ways to integrate lessons across curricular lines for a several reasons. Finding inter-curricular connections helps make learning more relevant for students and helps students understand that subject areas are not independent snippets of information, but rather are integrated with one another. Reading and writing are generally paired together because they are both about words. You will also find many teachers who pair reading with science (especially at the elementary level). The implementation of STEM helps teachers focus on the natural relationship that exists between these disciplines. As educators realized the natural connections between math and art (the golden ratio), science and art (drawing to record results, botanical drawings), engineering (architecture), etc we realized that including art into STEM helps make learning more relevant for our students. For me, I draw the line when I can no longer make a logical connection between curricular areas.
[b][i]2) Many of the contributors on this thread explained how they integrated arts into their classroom. Whether it involves coloring or drawing, it adds fun and enthusiasm to the lessons. However, the art is not the point of the lesson itself; the point of the lesson is to teach kids STEM with art being a 'vehicle' that makes the lesson easier. So if the point of art is just a 'vehicle' or technique to teaching STEM (the end-all lesson), does that mean that art skills are just as important as the lesson itself? Or, in an analogy: if you use video games to teach reading, is gaming just as important as learning the alphabet?[/i][/b]
In my classroom, art is part of the lesson. For instance in math, when we study lines of symmetry, we also study the lines of symmetry in famous works of art. When we draw pictures to record results in a science experiment or solve a science problem, we also learn about and explore how and why scientists draw pictures to explain or solve things in science. While I do integrate art into my lessons, we are learning about principles of art, not just using art as a vehicle. The art skills are just as important as the science, math, technology, and engineering principles that I teach. I want my students to be well rounded and to be able to identify the relationships that exist between different subject areas. While STEM is the new buzzword, I think you'll find that most teachers how been integrating subjects for several years. For instance, several years ago we called it "Thematic Units", but basically it was the same idea: take a theme and teach it across all subject areas.
I hope those comments help as you write your paper. Good luck with your assignment!
One of ways science and art are often integrated is in writing whether fiction (esp science fiction) or non fiction. Recently I have come across several intriguing writing sites for students
http://figment.com/ (personal favorite)
More than just a website, Figment is a fantastic online community that encourages students to share their writing with one another and inspire each other. The site offers a wealth of information on both reading and writing, helping students find and recommend new books and authors. It also provides brilliant writing prompts to help students with writers block or those who just don’t know where to start.
Everything educators, students, and parents need to make the writing process work in the classroom and at home
This great website offers prompts to help reluctant writers get started, but it also approaches writing from a cross-curriculum perspective, making it particularly useful for students who are struggling with their writing in all subjects
WOW! What a great lot of responses. The first thing I thought of - and this addresses the physics teacher who doesn't feel comfortable with more and more topics being added - check out Frank Cornally at Think Thank Thunk. He saw gender issues popping up in his physics class - lack of appeal/interest from young women - and addressed it.
1. His projectile lab became a stop-time art installation
2. Circular motion and spatter paint!
just kinda nifty....
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Firstly, congratulations on your acceptance into the NSTA Science Teacher Academy. Way to go!
Secondly, thanks for sharing these resources. It appears that the teacher combines 'classical' demonstrations and activities into his strategies to open 'gender' opportunities within his classroom through art. All students certainly enjoy art in science and I have found building mobiles to be extremely effective for assessing students understanding of forces and torques as well as allowing students another method to express their understanding. I even find that students face their misconceptions and face their understanding in a primary way.
You might enjoy looking at some classical demonstrations and strategies in physics and adopting them artistically within your classroom.
Thanks for sharing.
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It has been awhile since anyone has posted in this forum.
"The prevailing vision for undergraduate science education includes increased collaboration among teachers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and an overhaul of introductory courses. But by staying within the borders of STEM, are we overlooking connections between the arts and innovative science? Likewise, are we missing an important opportunity to inspire and inform nonscientists? Here we explore how weaving the visual arts into a science curriculum can both help develop scientific imagination and engage nonscientists. As an example, we describe a recent collaboration between artists and scientists to create a series of science-inspired sculptures.
Thank you to all that have contributed to this thread the discussion is very provoking to the life of the arts curriculum in education. My Bachelors is in theatre but now I teach 6th grade Physical Science. Last year was my first year teaching and I didn't know where or how I would fit in. What I was surprised to learn was that many of the science competitions have a performance element integrated into the competition. I have volunteered my time to help the students with their voice production, articlation and mannerisms in First Lego League and Skills USA competitions. Last year, I also had my students create a game show parody featuring the elements as their contestants.
What I have learned in my first two years of teaching is that Science is very similar to theatre; Collaboration with other trades/disciplines are vital to accomplishing goals, an attention to details and proceedures display the most professionalism and both performance and labs are a multimodal approach that differentiates instruction for all types of learners. I do agree that teaching science with these other elements is already difficult to do with the limited time restraints and expectations already placed on teachers. I beleive that teaching science is about showing students that there are other opportunities out there, that with the integration of the Arts with Science students become well rounded.
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Hi James --
Thank you for being an advocate for the arts! I wish that undergraduate training and inservice professional development for teachers would include what you helped students with: voice production, articulation, and mannerisms. Being in the classroom is a form of performance art, and many of us also do presentations at conferences, school board meetings, and faculty meetings.
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Mary and James
Thanks you for the support
Here is another great example
Origami: A Blend of Sculpture and Mathematics
The February edition of Educational Leadership published by the ASCD focuses on creativity. There are several excellent articles on the important of science/art integration
Here are links to two of my favorites from this publication
The Art and Craft of Science
The Power of Noticing
I'm watching an interesting video: Integrating Drama with Science and History.
The first part shows a teacher guiding students through a movement exercise demonstrating molecular activity, a neat way to help students understand the concept.
I just received a link to this essay Neuroaesthetics and the Trouble with Beauty - loved it
The famous nineteenth-century psychophysicist Gustav Fechner was also a poet and art critic. Armed with the tools of science, Fechner sought to reconcile his various interests. He would doubtless be interested by technological developments in neuroscience that have revealed the operations of neurons at cellular resolution and have enabled us to peer almost unnoticed into each other's working brains. But can these tools advance our understanding of aesthetics beyond Fechner's insights ? The nascent field of neuroaesthetics claims it can. Here we consider what questions this new field is poised to answer. We underscore the importance of distinguishing between beauty, art, and perception—terms often conflated by “aesthetics”—and identify adjacent fields of neuroscience such as sensation, perception, attention, reward, learning, memory, emotions, and decision making, where discoveries will likely be informative.
http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001504'' target="_blank">http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001504' target="_blank">http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001504
Thank you for the resource! I like the idea of STEAM over STEM.
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Fayette Co schools in Ky is opening a STEAM academy next year!!
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Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit one of the two designated STEAM schools in Texas. I watched as students worked on computer programs to generate a media production that told about some aspect of the gas laws in chemistry. I was awesome to watch the students create graphics that moved as a molecule does when temperature increases. Some students were applying the law to diving and the increased pressure underwater. Each student worked on their individual interpretation of how the laws should be represented. One student was creating the history of the scientists and the gas laws. This school plans on all teachers doing PBL's next year and incorporating the arts and their media/ production center as well. It is exciting to see the collaboration between teachers in different disciplines and the ad advanced use of technology in production.
At the NSTA conference was when I first heard the new term using Art. My principal just cut the one and only art teacher for next school year. Budget????
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Does the change from STEM to STEAM dilute the message somewhat? I would be interested in your responses. I would like to discuss this with my preservice teachers.
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I do really like the incorporation of Art. For some students they flourish at art (I am not one of them). This is a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents. In our school district students have a very limited opportunity to Art. Using STEAM would help make sure that teachers use art and allow students the chance to create art.
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Here is a nice blog
http://artplantaetoday.com/ connecting art and science
ArtPlantae is a resource provider whose aim is to encourage an interest in plants, to make botany a more palatable subject, and to accomplish both through the use of drawing as a learning tool. Through this website, ArtPlantae connects artists, naturalists and educators so they can learn from each other and encourage an interest in plants in their own classrooms and creative projects.
You are invited to search the pages of this growing resource and to browse the shelves at ArtPlantae Books, a companion resource specializing in books about botanical art history, botanical art instruction, botany, plant identification, economic botany, natural history and environmental education.
I'm happy to come across this discussion. To the STEAM skeptics, I would say that STEAM, used correctly, does not replace STEM content delivery time with unrelated activities. Are your students learning every topic well, or are there topics that seem to be difficult for them to grasp? STEAM provides an alternative way for students to access and work with that STEM knowledge. I invite you to check out my blog on STEAM in higher ed: http://stemtosteamihe.wordpress.com
Most of what I write about is transferable to Pre-K-12 teaching.
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Lisa, thank you for your input. Do you also speak to using the A in STEAM as a way for students to express their understanding and to explain the science to others? May the A also provide an avenue for evaluation of understanding and further probing by the teacher?
STEM is not a thing. Science, technology, engineering, and math are not a unitary thing, nor are they necessarily logically connected. Technologies have been developed by people innocent of science and math. Engineering has often advanced by "cut and try." (See the works of Petroski, especially his wonderful engineering history of the pencil.) Math need not reference any of the other three. If there is some overlap between them, that could be said of many other subjects.
Among engineers and scientists I work with, no one speaks of STEM. Politicians and educators use this term, which seems to mean "I know nothing of science, nor technology, nor engineering, nor math." STEAM and STEMM serve to underline the arbitrary nature of these groupings. Perhaps the word they are groping for is "education"?
The medieval curriculum of the Trivium and the Quadrivium comprised grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. These were what a free man, as opposed to a slave or servant, needed to know. Four of the seven would be considered STEM. And what, 5, 6, or 7 would be STEAM? It seems to be a category so broad as to be useless.
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Your comments bring to mind CP Snow's text
Two Cultures and Scientific Revolution
It is short and your might enjoy reading it. I have provided the link above
I am a STEAM outreach educator and it is amazing to see children conduct a scientific investigation and be able to add their creativity to it. I did plastic fusion with many kiddos this summer and they created anything from clothing, purses, wallets, to raingear. How awesome is that?
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Carmen, you continue to wow me with all the "new to me" ideas and activities you share here in the NSTA Learning Center posts. Please do tell us more about Plastic Fusion. Are you talking about repurposing existing plastic bags?
Carolyn, I will post the activity tomorrow. But, yes you can use plastic bags, table covers, and duct tape.
For this activity you gather plastic materials and you iron them together with apiece of wax paper, shiny side up on low heat. You can outline the edges together with fashionable duct tape to make purses, wallets, rain jackets, capes, etc. students can cut out different shapes and iron them n top of one another, but an adult should be doing the ironing. Try it, it really does work. Students use their problem solving skills, and mathematical skills. I had a student that found it easier to use her straightener since I would not let her use the iron. I also had a student make a rain coat and use rubber bands on slaves to tighten around the wrists.
If you are going to do this activity, you definitely need to do some shrinks dinks or led bling to accessorize their clothing apparel.
Oops, shrinky dinks, really hate spell check.
David and Pam,
Prof Eleanor Duckworth of Harvard just popped into my mind as I read your discussion. It has been quite some time since The Having of Wonderful Ideas was published and served as a foundation in cognitive thinking about students and how they learn. There is a pdf from the web that I will post here for any reader who is interested. It is an article entitled:
On Thinking About Teaching - A Discussion with Eleanor Duckworth
Here is the url:
It is a great discourse into the philosophy of science teaching.
el_199103_meek.pdf (1.11 Mb)
Synergy is an experimental program that catalyzes partnerships between artists and research scientists.
With an emphasis on communication and collaboration, Synergy aims to provide meaningful creative and intellectual experiences for both the general public and for participating artists and scientists. We carefully select and match artists and scientists to work together and formulate a shared voice. We then present the outcome of these collaborations through group exhibitions that invite the public to engage with this unique art/science dialogue
Video presentations are here[/url]
STEAM programs blend science and art education
Math in Dancing
I just received a link to this this inspiring application of math in art
If you ever doubted that there was art in science check out these castings of ant colonies
I just recently heard about STEAM. I was not completely sure what it was all about until I read your post. Thank you for explaining it so clearly! I am a pre-service teacher and have the opportunity to participate in a STEAM night at the university I attend. I believe in an interdisciplinary approach to learning, so I think incorporating the arts is a great idea.
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I thought the video about the ant colonies was amazing. There certainly is beauty in the natural patterns of nature! I was amazed by the depth of the tunnels and the storage areas all the way at the bottom. Thank you for posting!
Evidence: Impact of dance on learning[/url]
Roger Malina Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Physics at University of Texas at Dallas
Here is the complete document
I have heard of several community resources utilizing STEM but also integrating the arts in these programs - only still calling it STEM instead of STEAM. In my 8th grade engineering advisory class, I integrate art into our projects whether it is through the design process or presentation and communication of results. Many people are visual learners, and utilizing art is of benefit to them.
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Help Argonne choose the winners of its 2013 Art of Science contest. The annual contest calls for lab employees and users of Argonne’s facilities to submit images and photographs that showcase their research. Some are computer simulations, some are photographs, and some are taken with incredibly powerful transmission electron microscopes that see down to nearly atomic level; all of them show the stunning intersection of beauty and science in Argonne’s world-class labs. Votes will be accepted through Nov. 1, 2013.
I actually just looked into the STEM question and as of right now have more questions than answers, but for the most part I think it could be beneficial for both students and educators. I think as a society we are in need of scientist, innovators and thinks, I believe the STEM program will help inspire individuals to look into these things. I don't believe that is should be our own focus as educators because a well rounded child is much better than a child with little or no knowledge.
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That was a great explanation. I needed that to present to a committee. Thanks.
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Inspire students to pursue computer science education to develop problem solving, computational thinking, and abstract reasoning. Talk about how computers combine with the arts by restoring masterpieces, creating comedy, generating music, "driving" new compositions, and anaylizing music history.
Oh how I want to retire to have more time to read.
Today I came across The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science as an example of the marriage of science and art
I just came across this gem Extreme Collaboration when Chemistry and Art Collide
Thank you for sharing your insights and resources for the addition of art in STEM. What types of activities are you doing for your STEAM night? How are you incorporating Art into a family STEM night? It sounds like an interesting idea.
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Sadly this website is currently parked (as of April 5, 2014). Hopefully it will be back up soon. As so many of us are trying to get a STEM program running, this kind of information is vital to our planning. The more we know, the better our programs can be!
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STEaM is growing at Northridge Elementary in Highlands Ranch, CO. Help support efforts from the Imagination Expo to in-class exploration.
This from the Listserve
A good source for STEAM curricula is Kathryn Evans’ art-science curriculum inventory project at https://www.utdallas.edu/atec/cdash/ . The site includes descriptions of cross-disciplinary curricula offered internationally in colleges and universities. Evans also incudes Primary and Secondary Curricula Resources, as well as references on Assessment and Evaluations for Interdisciplinary Learning. Evan's curriculum inventory project is part of an NSF grant awarded to a a team led by Carol Lafayette at Texas A and M to establish a network for science, engineering, art, and design (NSEAD). The UT project differs somewhat from the STEM to STEAM and Art of Science Learning frameworks in its inclusion of design within the STEAM framework.
In addition to the ISEF guidelines, you might check out the Innovation Portal, an online collaboration tool that includes a national design process rubric.
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