STEAM Teaching for Educators

It’s hard to remember a time when STEM fields – that’s science, technology, engineering, and math – weren’t the top priority in education. But as STEM pedagogy and practices have evolved, STEAM is gathering momentum – that’s STEM, but with an arts component (inclusive of the humanities, language arts, and fine arts) fully integrated. STEAM doesn’t detract from traditional STEM subjects or lowering standards. Instead, it makes STEM education even more effective. STEAM education takes STEM learning and kicks it up a notch by applying creative thinking, imagination, and design skills – typically through project-based learning. As STEM education matures, and the prevalence of STEM professions continue to grow, there’s a clear need for students to utilize skills that are derived from artistic experiences – benefitting their educational pursuits and future professional endeavors.

The inclusion of arts learning into STEM education has distinct benefits. STEAM encourages the development of creative problem-solving skills, inventive thinking, imaginative design capabilities, and obtaining a more well-rounded skillset to tackle challenges. These skills can correlate to greater success in STEM careers such as engineering and finance. Professional STEM fields have suffered from a persistent lack of diversity, but incorporating the arts empowers students who may have felt discouraged. The STEAM approach helps develop confident, competent learners by leveraging the topics where art and STEM naturally intersect – STEAM subject matter also has the added benefit of showcasing the value of the arts, by highlighting the inherent role they have in all areas of STEM. And finally, the inclusion of arts in STEM learning can help develop higher levels of subject knowledge for students who pursue artistic professions.

How can you start incorporating STEAM education? Adding an arts component to your students’ STEM experience is easy for any age group or level, or starting point. Fun classroom activity ideas are plentiful. Curricula opportunities range from taking planned STEM lessons and adding in an arts component or perspective, to developing STEAM plans that fully integrate arts education from the very start. Both can be accomplished with varied student abilities, needs, and goals in mind. There is also incredible opportunity for professional development, such as advanced degree programs for STEAM educators. There are also many STEAM education resources to choose from – STEAM-focused conferences, online courses, and webinars to discover additional classroom ideas and hands-on projects.

Featured Resources

Create a Makerspace for Your School in 5 Easy Steps

Share to Learn

Create a Makerspace for Your School in 5 Easy Steps

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Hour of Code: Simple CS Concepts for Kids

Google Education

Hour of Code: Simple CS Concepts for Kids

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STEM & STEAM

Emerging STEAM education takes STEM learning a step further, adding an integrated arts component. STEAM evolved from the need to drive better creative, innovative, and well-rounded problem-solving skills. STEAM education addresses gaps in STEM learning, creating connections between the disciplines and providing elements like cultural relevance and imaginative approaches to challenges.

A teacher helping a student with a STEAM project

The Art of Inquiry in STEAM Education

STEAM education encourages students to be curious and experiment as lifelong learners. Inquiry-based learning naturally fits with STEAM since it promotes critical thinking and innovation.

Girls working on a STEAM project

The Benefits of Teaching STEAM Lessons

There’s been a big push for incorporating lessons and activities that use STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art, and math. But how exactly do these multilayered

STEAM Activities and Projects

STEAM classroom ideas and lessons can be found in surprising and fun places, from creating your own wintry weather to hands-on understanding of where our food comes from. Add intentional creative components to STEM activities, and turn projects into full-out STEAM learning opportunities. Start here for STEAM resources and materials, project ideas, and more.

DIY STEAM Projects

Pinterest

DIY STEAM Projects

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12 Technology in the Classroom STEAM Projects

TeachHub

12 Technology in the Classroom STEAM Projects

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10 Tips for Incorporating Art into your STEM Class

Scholastic

10 Tips for Incorporating Art into your STEM Class

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15+ Chemistry Project Ideas That Reinforce STEAM Learning

Share to Learn

15+ Chemistry Project Ideas That Reinforce STEAM Learning

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STEAM Projects Using Basic, Cheap Supplies

Share to Learn

STEAM Projects Using Basic, Cheap Supplies

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Using Video Games to Teach STEM

STEM School

Using Video Games to Teach STEM

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Beginner's Coding Guide for Kids

AT&T Internet Services

Beginner's Coding Guide for Kids

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STEAM Lesson Plans

PBS Learning Media

STEAM Lesson Plans

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STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions

YouTube

STEAM + Project-Based Learning: Real Solutions From Driving Questions

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Tinkering Studio STEAM Projects

Exploratorium

Tinkering Studio STEAM Projects

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Youth Citizen Science Projects

YouTube.com

Youth Citizen Science Projects

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Smithsonian Science Education Center Curriculum & Project Resources

Smithsonian

Smithsonian Science Education Center Curriculum & Project Resources

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Hands-on STEAM Projects by Ford Motors

Ford Motors

Hands-on STEAM Projects by Ford Motors

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STEAM Project Ideas: How to Make a Pendulum Painting

YouTube

STEAM Project Ideas: How to Make a Pendulum Painting

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NASA For Educators (Resources + Articles)

NASA

NASA For Educators

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STEAM Project Ideas: How to Make a Robotic Hand

YouTube

STEAM Project Ideas: How to Make a Robotic Hand

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Using Skateboard Design to Teach Math and Physics

Share to Learn

Using Skateboard Design to Teach Math and Physics

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STEAM Education for Special Needs Students

Special needs students benefit immensely from the hands-on, explorative learning with STEAM, but they often miss out on opportunities traditional students receive. By using STEM and STEAM classroom ideas and making simple tweaks to the physical space or lesson instructions, students can reap the rewards of engaging in STEAM learning.

5 Best Practices for Connecting STEAM with Special Ed

Education Closet
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Middle School Makerspaces for Students with ASD

Tufts
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Students with Autism Gravitate Toward STEM Majors

Scientific American
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STEM Education for Students with Special Needs

Pinterest
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Could a Child With a Disability Use Your MakerSpace?

ALSC
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Redefining Special Education with Dancing Robots and Google Hangouts

EdSurge
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STEM for Students with Special Needs: Part 1

Mrs. D's Corner
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STEM for Students with Special Needs: Part 2

Mrs. D's Corner
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Additional STEM + STEAM Articles

Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

NPR
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Six Characteristics of a Great STEM Lesson

Education Week
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New Research Sheds Light On Filling The STEM Gap For Girls

Forbes
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STEM Read Podcast

NPR
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The High School Of The Future — Right Here In Boston

Edify
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Applying Stories to Excite Students About Science

KQED
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Girls Still Lag in College and STEM Careers

EdSource
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The Complex Data on Girls in STEM

The Atlantic
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35+ initiatives to get more women into cybersecurity

comparitech
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STEAM Education Grants

Dreaming of a STEAM idea, but lacking money? Private and governmental grants can help. Varying from mini-grants for classroom projects to larger, multi-year district initiatives, some focus on broad STEAM education and others provide for deeper learning in areas like robotics, space, or mathematics. Funds are also available for professional development for STEAM educators and teachers-to-be.