STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) has become more prominent as an effective approach to interdisciplinary learning. However, implementation is not as simple as following a new curriculum or purchasing materials. During the edWebinar “STEAM: Innovations That Solve Real World Problems,” Cheri Sterman, director of education, Crayola; Lucie Howell, director of learning and engagement, The Henry Ford; and James Wells, innovative teaching & learning manager, Crayola, explained the movement’s genesis and offered strategies for a successful transition.
1. STEAM is a guided approach to exploratory learning where teacher-talk is at a minimum and students drive interaction and discovery. Implementation, though, is not about lessons, units, or even just adding a few elements of science into art or vice versa. Embracing it means a commitment to a new way of teaching and learning, and this new language must be spoken across all classrooms.
2. Schools can start small, but it must be more than one teacher. Individuals from each content area should form a creative leadership team to investigate best practices and work together to develop a model that will work in their school. Once the leadership team feels confident in its knowledge, the members will become coaches for their colleagues.