My name is Amy Cline and I am a Visual Science teacher at AIM Academy in
Pennsylvania, USA. Specifically, I teach high school biology and global
science and use many different methods to help students think more deeply
about these subjects and show their knowledge in many different ways. I see
myself as an interdisciplinary teacher even though my job description
states that I need to teach science. STEAM some what describes what I do. I
have actually come to see that STEAM in certain contexts is seen as
exclusionary rather than inclusionary which has not been helpful within our
I have been aware of the term STEM through the years and remember that is
was a term that was always connected to funding agencies in Washington DC
who wanted to support careers in these core disciplines. Lately, the term
STEAM has been used as either a separate effort or in place of where STEM
was once said.
Sometimes, I hear STEAM used to describe the way subjects can and are being
taught through the integration of many different subjects including art
when at other times I hear it stated as a way to simply add on art when it
did not get rightfully recognized before.
The school I teach at began heavily using the term STEAM to describe our
efforts to increase our robotics program, maker space, use of many
different technology tools all in connection with science and other core
content classes. The school I teach at is very interdisciplinary yet when
we used the term STEAM too much, the humanities department felt left out.
As a school we ran a tremendously successful STEAM Faire, a take off the
Maker Faire movement, but this coming year I think we will be changing the
name in order to make it more inclusive of all topic areas.
For me personally, I have been studying the connections between art and
science for some time and deliberately merge them in my teaching but the
reason why I do this is to help students become more diverse thinkers, to
see the connections between ideas and help them see that learning can
happen in context while showing their knowledge in many different ways.
One way I think about it is that STEAM is a way to describe how people are
merging topics and tools while teaching skills and content in connected
Thanks for the discussion
best- amy holt cline
On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM, roger malina <email@example.com> wrote:
> from Ruth Catchen ( reposted from the same discussion on linked in
> STEAM journal group)
> Education Consultant for STEM/STEAM Education
> I agree that some of the innate problem with understanding both what
> STEM is and what STEaM is has to do with the confines of the acronym.
> As a proponent of STEM that is STEaM, I look at STEM as an integrated
> learning protocol that offers many opportunities when approached
> as a pedagogy that easily lends itself to using the arts in several
> ways. The arts offer learning experiences or learning tools that will
> a wide variety of students and learning styles. In addition, including
> the arts in STEM may offer the opportunity for some to engage who
> would not such as at-risk and underrepresented populations. Finally,
> the arts offer something uniquely powerful to a holistic education.
> Students will
> expand their ability to critically think and problem solve by applying
> past experiences and knowledge to new ones through a variety of arts
> Their ability to self-assess and re-do grows with each arts
> experience, thus gaining the self-efficacy needed to embark on a STEM
> career. In STEaM, the arts serve as an on-ramp for rigorous science
> and math content learned through engineering design. So in my humble
> opinion, that is what STEaM has to do with it.
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