So, what does STEAM mean to educators and what does it have to do with teaching? Well, let’s explore this area and see how you can integrate it in your classroom.
What does STEM stand for?
Originating from the term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process, by blending Arts into the equation. So STEM became STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).
Now let’s explore some of the best ways you can integrate STEAM in your classroom…
- Cross-curricular activities are one way to achieve a natural coming together of the sciences and arts. Asking students to design, build, draw, and physically create what they’re learning about is a great way to implement this concept, as it enables them to visualize a topic through artistic expression, but it helps engage in deeper levels of comprehension by applying these concepts in new ways.
- Planning collaboratively with other teachers can innovate ways in which you can integrate STEAM concepts into your lessons. Co-planning not only helps you manage lesson ideas, but it also helps you to ensure that you’re effectively meeting the needs of all of your students, but also enables you the chance to brainstorm ideas and test concepts before putting them in front of students.
- Encourage Exploration in career planning to determine how to integrate STEAM subjects. Explore possible careers through job shadowing opportunities or job fairs is a good first start. For younger students, a career day could be the first step in opening minds to possible STEAM careers. Technology can be a powerful tool to make connections across disciplines and enables students to pursue individual interests.
Let’s put STEAM into practice…
- Incorporate technology by having students create a blog as they are reading. They can make it in Google Docs so other students can comment and expand on what they have written.
- Complete non-fiction research and collaborate it with a science concept/experiment. Learn about how scientists and engineers come up with new ideas by learning about what others have tried, and then using creativity and trial/error to complete their own experiments.
- Students are to come up with an item to sell and have to make it themselves. Use fake money and give them an allocated time to buy and sell, enabling them experience buying, selling, bartering, and trading. Social studies and maths can be combined and students can experience advertising, supply, demand, profit, and loss in a personal way.
- Practice measurement, volume, mass, and area by challenging students to design something to hold some kind of item (can be anything in the classroom).