STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. STEAM PROGRAMS are designed to integrate science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in the classroom to encourage students to think critically and problem solve in a creative way.
Although some might think that science and math are the opposite art, both involve a “process” and a “product.” Both require students to think creatively and critically. STEAM is also complimentary to the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.
After over 4 decades as an educator, I see shadows of the integrated curriculum, constructivism, as well as the project approach in STEAM. I also see STEAM as providing a balance to our obsession with skills and standardized tests.
Take a look at some of the projects below. Couldn’t you use one of these instead of a test or worksheet to extend a story or a unit of study? These projects would also provide children with the opportunity to collaborate with a partner or small group.
Puppets (stick, paper bag, paper plate, sock, coat hanger, envelope)
Sculpture (mold with clay or play dough)
Create a board game
Poster or collage
Mobile or windsock
Skit or play
Pantomime and charades
Rap or song
Mask or costume