STEAM in Education

Everywhere you turn you see STEM education in action. It is a significant focus in both public and private education systems and seems to be constantly gaining momentum. Not surprisingly, art teachers, parents, and arts proponents are anxious about children sacrificing the fine arts for STEM-focused subjects. Enter STEAM: science, technology, engineering, ARTS, and math. The idea isn’t new. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that STEM subjects organically encompass art concepts. How do you design a beautiful building, a sculpture, a digital trademark image, without equal parts science and art? You don’t.

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century! (Education Closet)

So what if, rather than just incidentally including artistic creativity into STEM projects, we start to do it intentionally? What if rather than simply acknowledging that a ceramic sculpture requires an internal structure to be built for it to survive a kiln, we examine that structure and learn about why that is? What if we acknowledge that the pixelated world of Minecraft is inherently artistic – the colors, the landscape, the buildings’ design – and requires both knowledge of digital gaming and an eye for the structures? What if? At Hands On Art, we will be exploring these “what if’s” by incorporating STEAM concepts into our art classes. We have big and STEAMy plans for our summer camps!