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Students 'STEAM' Ahead With Arts Plus STEM

Classrooms Adopt "STEAM" Adding the Arts into STEM

STEM as we know it is getting a new twist by adding the arts, thus making it: STEAM. 

Supporters of the addition say a more focused inclusion of the arts help kids become more creative and hands-on learners by sparking innovation, according to NPR.org. 

A school in Ohio, Canton Hartford Middle School, is embracing STEAM and using the curriculum. Art teacher Kathy Pugh said the school believes that art should share equal status with STEM subjects. 

“It has to be presented to the kids that it’s not an extra, that it is as important of a subject as your math,” she said. “Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, they were well taken care of. They were recognized by their creativity, their innovation, and their artistic ability. The artists were the ones who thought outside the box. It was the artists who came up with the new ideas.”

At the school, some aspect of art is included in the entire curriculum, this way, it's more of a philosophy, emphasizing connections between subject areas and teaching students to take what they learned in one classroom and apply it in another. 

For example, in science teacher’s Jeff Ferrara’s room, the walls are completely bare. But it doesn’t stay that way for long. As students feverishly work their way through experiments and the design process, drawings soon line the walls.

“They come in, we throw those ideas up,” he said. “Diagrams kids draw from class to class to class. I like the idea of hanging something up and seeing everything at once. The real art of science is to have that creativity and to have that interest and that ingenuity to say ‘man, what happens if I mess with this? What happens if I try this?’ and dive in. You have to have this piece there, which I think follows with art in taking that chance.”

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Share your ideas for incorporating the arts into STEM in the comment section below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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