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What Is STEAM Learning?

STEAM learning is an interconnected approach to learning science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  While each of these fields are distinct, STEAM learning removes the traditional barriers separating the disciplines. 

STEAM learning seeks to take advantage of the similarities and interplay of skills and knowledge among these fields to weave together a rich and meaningful learning environment. Students identify ways that disciplines are interrelated, and how they reinforce and complement one another. 

STEAM learning is dedicated to engaging students to develop unique cognitive skills, habits of mind, and attitudes that benefit learners throughout their lives.


STEAM Learning Essential Elements

The instructional design facilitates learner-centered education.

  • Learning embraces inquiry, problem-based and project-based approaches, embedded with authentic problems.
  • Students engage in scientific and engineering practices.
  • Students make connections between what they are learning and real-world experiences, current events, and/or their daily lives.
  • Students apply one or more perspectives to reason about problems and phenomena when developing arguments or critiques.
  • Students develop their ability to generate solutions to a range of STEAM-based problems and scenarios, including organizing ideas, defining goals, and executing plans.
  • Students demonstrate ownership of their learning by setting goals for their learning and making choices about how to accomplish them.
  • Experiences foster qualitative and quantitative data utilization as part of analytical tasks such as problem-solving, investigation, and design.
  • Students use current and emerging technologies to design and convey ideas through creative methods.

The learning environment empowers students to develop future-ready skills.

  • Students approach problems with an open-mind, consider a range of solutions, seek innovation, and express their ideas in a variety of modes.
  • Students exhibit effective communication, creativity, collaboration, leadership, critical thinking, and technological proficiency.
  • Experiences allow time for student-directed exploration of problem-solving approaches, setbacks, and adoption of new approaches.
  • Students consider alternative arguments or solutions in the approach to their work by recognizing diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

The school culture reflects a connection with the external community.

  • Experiences in and outside the classroom are designed to expose students to an array of STEAM-related careers.
  • Partnerships with business and industry purposefully extend student learning and include practicum experiences, mentorships, and other work-related activities with industry professionals.
  • Experiences introduce students to multiple cultural perspectives and address the value of social and cultural awareness, sensitivity, and empathy in STEAM professional work in society, especially related to global citizenship and global STEAM challenges.