What is STEAM?
STEAM is an approach to learning that integrates subjects together with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and/or Mathematics. There is a lot of research suggesting that integrating these subjects, especially adding a creative component with art, is beneficial for students and makes sense for the way kids learn.
You might be hearing a lot more about STEAM because we know how important it is to prepare students for critical, creative thinking in our modern world.
What might my child be doing in school using a STEAM approach?
STEAM lessons are usually hands-on and exploratory (you might hear your child's teacher using the term inquiry-based). STEAM education prepares students for the real world, where professionals often use multiple disciplines (an engineer might also use a lot of math or a programmer might find creative approaches helpful to solving a problem). They work together collaboratively to develop and discover creative approaches to problem-solving. They learn that failure is sometimes part of the process and they should seek to try again and improve upon their ideas.
Students might learn about shapes and geometry by studying how Leonardo Davinci made kites, or artist Vsevolod Kandinsky created mobiles. They could design musical instruments to learn how sound works. They won’t have STEAM in every lesson, just when that kind of learning will engage them in innovative ways.
How can I support my child to infuse STEAM throughout their learning?
The best way to prepare students for STEAM learning is to start young and make it interesting to them. Provide a variety of experiences that your child enjoys, like going to science museums, making STEAM kits, reading STEAM books, and going to makerspaces. Check out Lyman Allyn Art Museum (all NLPS students are automatically members), Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, and other places including your local library. You can also just ask your child how different things they’re learning connect to others!