Last month I wrote about gifted children and STEM activities which covered science, technology, engineering, math. This month I’d like to talk about STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, math. Why include the arts with the other disciplines? According to the Rhode Island School of Design, “The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” One of the early leaders in the STEAM approach is Dr. John Maeda, a former President of the Rhode Island School of Design and former professor (and student) at MIT, who “has emphasized the idea that design thinking and creativity are essential ingredients for innovation”.https://onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/steam-education-in-schools/#A
The four skills central to STEAM are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These are skills that are used in the arts and are also essential in STEM pursuits. The arts in STEAM include music, visual arts, dancing/movement, drama, among others. Following are some activities and concepts you may want to consider.
Many gifted children and youth are innovative; they blend academics and arts when playing, and integrate many concepts together to create something new. Investigate the resources about STEM in last month’s blog post, and further explore turning STEM into STEAM with this month’s resources. Encourage your student to search for more resources in their areas of interest. Allow your gifted student to take the lead on activities, exploration, and study of STEAM, so that they fully experience the breadth and depth of STEAM connections.
As Leonardo da Vinci said: “To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, and study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
Stem to STEAM: Art in K-12 is Key to Building a Strong Economy
By Dr. John Maeda
Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM
STEAM Careers for the 21st Century
Connections: Math & Music
The Kennedy Center
A bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners
Art, Music and Dance: Books for Young Children
Diverse Picture Books for Art and Music Teachers
Dr. Wanda Routier, Former Board Member
WI Association for Talented and Gifted
Ask the Doctor