STEAM fields are defined  science, and technology, interpreted through engineering, and the (liberal) arts, and based in mathematics. Variations of definitions for the "A" exist, but no other definition formally defines the arts with research or links the disciplines together as a whole with research. STEAM is designed to integrate all subjects with each other for a way to teach across the disciplines. These programs aim to teach students innovation, to think critically and use engineering or technology in imaginative designs or creative approaches to real-world problems framed in social studies. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on reasoning, ethics and design principles and encouraging creative solutions, effectively removing the meaning of the STEM distinction as the term now includes nearly all academic fields, yet still oddly leaving some behind.
The founder of the STEAM initiative is Georgette Yakman, who in addition to raising the idea of adding the arts to the STEM acronym, has conducted research and practicum since 2006 based on researching the formal way that subjects work together and correspond to the global socioeconomic world: "Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in elements of Mathematics." She provides professional development training to individual educators and programs on how to use the STEAM framework. In 2009, Senator Mark Warner announced Yakman's nomination as NCTC’s STEAM Teacher of the Year 2009.
National STEAM Day
National STEM/STEAM Day is celebrated on November 8 and is intended to be a play on the word innovate (Nov 8).
STEAM Day was established and made an official holiday by MGA Entertainment in 2015. "We want to show children that S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. are already all around them, and that their favorite hobbies are actually rooted in science, technology, engineering, art and math," said Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment.
- A joint resolution was introduced in the United States House of Representatives expressing the sense that adding art and design into federal programs that target the STEM fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States. John Maeda co-hosted the kickoff briefing of the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus.
- Mystery Science: this website is great for curious kids and all their questions. Parents can watch quick videos to understand various STEAM related questions and then clarify concepts to their kids as well. The website uses illustrations and kid-friendly language which is easy to understand. Science, engineering and technology have separate lessons for young kids and the parents.
- STEM works: this website offers activities on all aspects of STEM education. The platform has separate activities for parents to do with kids to stimulate curiosity and clarify concepts. Kids can learn about how the technology works along with the science to discover new species and fossils, or how engineering works.
- NASA for Students: here STEM experts from NASA have selected online activities, lessons, reading materials and videos for parents and students to use so they can build on their existing STEM education. Concepts on merging science and technology to reach the moon, or using maths and engineering to orbit around the earth are all discussed with an exciting twist to keep kids interested.
- Dolphins’ academy: this platform offers courses and tutorials on all aspects of STEAM education. Counseling about future STEAM careers is also provided from experts on the website and professionals in the fields of STEAM. Parents and kids can do various activities and experiments to work on science, engineering, technology and art skills.
- EDVON: this STEAM education resource has interactive progression based coding, robotics and maths curriculums based on STEAM philosophy to equip the kids with 21st century skills
- Code.org for high school: this website offers online and offline coding and computer science education for kids at home. Parents can learn various skills to help their kids or the high school students can access the website and learn STEM skills themselves.
- Engineering - Go for it: This website provides STEM education especially in the field of engineering. High school students can even go into the details of sub engineering fields such as biomedical and structural engineering. Experts from the field create profiles on the website and students or parents are encouraged to ask questions and learn more about STEM. The curriculum is very open and free and not restricted to any specific school or region.
STEAM in children's media
- Sesame Street's 43rd season continues to focus on STEM but finds ways to integrate art. They state: "This helps make learning STEM concepts relevant and enticing to young children by highlighting how artists use STEM knowledge to enhance their art or solve problems. It also provides context for the importance of STEM knowledge in careers in the arts (e.g. musician, painter, sculptor and dancer)."
- MGA Entertainment created a S.T.E.A.M. based franchise Project Mc2.
Other uses of the STEAM acronym
- Other variations that have been promoted, include art, fine arts, agriculture, architecture and applied mathematics.
- The Rhode Island School of Design has a STEM to STEAM program and maintains an interactive map that shows global STEAM initiatives. Relevant organizations are able to add themselves to the map. John Maeda, (2008 to 2013 president of Rhode Island School of Design) has been a champion in bringing the initiative to the political forums of educational policy.
- Some programs offer STEAM from a base focus like mathematics and science.
- SteamHead is a non-profit organization that promotes innovation and accessibility in education, focusing on STEAM fields.
- Wolf Trap's Institute of Education, as part of a $1.5 million Department of Education grant, trains and places teaching artists into preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The artists collaborate with the teachers to integrate math and science into the arts.
- American Lisa La Bonte, CEO of the Arab Youth Venture Foundation based in the United Arab Emirates, uses the STEAM acronym, but her work does not include arts integration. Starting in 2007, La Bonte created and ran high profile free public STEAM programs  having added an A for "inspired STEM", with the A standing for Aeronautics, Aviation, Astronomy, Aerospace, Ad Astra! and using all things "air and space" as a hook for youth to embark on greater experimentation, studies, and careers in the region's burgeoning space related industries. One of AYVF's best-known programs, "STEAM@TheMall", served over 200,000 its first two years at the most popular shopping malls and provided free weekend activity stations such as Mars robotics, science experiments, SkyLab portable planetarium, art/design, and creative writing. In 2008, Sharjah Sheikha Maisa kicked off the "Design booth for youth for Al Ain Summer S.T.E.A.M. funded by the Foundation created by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi".[failed verification] In 2010, the American Association of Arts & Sciences (AAAS) included a chapter on AYVF's most popular STEAM program in its book, Building Mathematical and Scientific Talent in the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Region.
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