As educators, our goal is to shape our students’ lives by teaching them in ways that produce well rounded individuals. Whether STEAM education is new to you or you’re already familiar with it, it’s a great way to excite students about learning.

Some people like to debate STEM vs. STEAM. In case you’re unfamiliar with these terms I’ll tell you what they mean. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math. STEAM is all of those, plus the A for Arts. I once had an actual rocket scientist (he’s a genius & a truly brilliant man) debate STEM vs. STEAM with me. He said there is no place for art in STEM education. Well, I disagree!

When you look at a beautiful building or a breathtaking bridge, do you not see the artistic value? When engineers design something, I have to think that they take the aesthetics of their design into account to produce something unique and beautiful!

Related content: 5 ways STEAM education is used in storytelling

I believe that it is important for our youngest learners in the elementary setting to be exposed to all subjects, and STEAM education is an excellent way to accomplish that goal. Here are 5 simple ways you can incorporate STEAM into the elementary school classroom.

1. Incorporate Children’s Literature: Using children’s literature–more specifically, picture books–is a great way to fuse STEAM into your classroom! There are so many wonderful books that help students think creatively. Some of my favorites are: The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, and Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. These books not only inspire students of all ages, but they also let them know that it’s okay to think differently! These books lend themselves to wanting to create something that highlights their thinking and then show off their creations to their classmates!

About the Author:

Amy Erb is a STEAM teacher in Stallings, North Carolina. She has spent the past 15 years as an elementary school teacher and is a member of the Discovery Educator Network’s Leadership Council. She is a fan of all things STEAM related and is a professional shaper of little minds.


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