Science and art are two components of STEAM, and it's essential that students learn STEAM to help succeed in the global economy.

How STEAM prepares students for the global economy

It's critical to ensure students are equipped to navigate the ever-changing global economy and the future of work

“We have students who are passionate, engaged and comfortable with technology, yet students are living in silos and not equipped with the 21st century skills which they genuinely need to be part of the global workforce of tomorrow.”

This statement by Amy McCooe, CEO of Level Up Village, during a recent edWebinar hit home with her two co-presenters, Esra Murray, a fifth-grade teacher at International School Dundee (CT), and Fran Kompar, director of instructional technology and digital learning at Wilton Public Schools (CT).

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Kompar expressed her frustration: “We are now 20 years into the 21st century, and we should be preparing our students for the work of their time, not the future–because the future is now.”

The presenters emphasized that the global skill most vital to students is learnability: the desire, passion, and capacity to learn, the ability to synthesize and evaluate information, and the willingness to take on new challenges. The impact of developing learnability skills will ensure that our young learners apply their knowledge and skills to the global economy and become lifelong learners.

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The Four As

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, and it is critical to prepare our students to navigate this world and the global economy.

Kompar identifies trans-disciplinary learning as learning that can provide students with navigational tools embedded into the school curriculum and involve everyone in the school.

Four “A” elements should be part of any trans-disciplinary learning: authenticity where students explore essential and relevant questions that are meaningful to them; the agency that empowers students to have a choice, whether it be the topic, how they solve a problem, or how they express themselves; action where students are allowed to take action to solve the problem; and authentic audiences—both locally and globally—where solutions are shared broadly.

Global STEAM education

The question is how to prepare students for the global economy? The good news is that students are way ahead of us. Today’s young citizens have a greater awareness of global issues, such as water scarcity and pollution, than any other generation.

To create a generation of problem solvers for the global economy, Murray identifies steps for incorporating global STEAM into classrooms:

  • Ask students to define the problem and give them time to synthesize and evaluate. Provide them with global collaborative opportunities.
  • Using the ISTE standard for Global Collaborator, plan how students can use digital tools to broaden their perspectives.
  • Enrich their learning with skills on how to work effectively in teams locally and globally and teach them to solve global problems through STEM.
  • Support and develop critical skills such as collaboration, communication, and critical thinking to help young global inventors gain agency over their learning and find solutions to global issues that will be wide-reaching and impactful.

About the presenters

Amy McCooe brings a wealth of business experience and her lifelong passion for education to the global STEAM arena. Amy co-founded and is CEO of Level Up Village (LUV), a global STEAM education company that was recently acquired by Language Testing International, a Samsung Subsidiary. Level Up Village is globalizing the classroom and facilitating seamless collaboration between students around the world through global STEAM courses. Fueling her passion for project-based learning and design thinking, Amy created and developed the LUV STEAM curriculum and collaboration methodology LUV incorporates to achieve authentic communication and collaboration between teachers and students across the globe. LUV has run programs in over 600 schools internationally creating global STEAM connections between more than 50,000 students. Before Level Up Village, Amy worked in management consulting and investment banking and has her BA from Trinity College in Connecticut and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

Esra Murray is a lifelong learner loving her journey in the pursuit of creating the most desirable conditions to cultivate lifelong learners, compassionate citizens, conscious innovators, and connected individuals. Recognized as a Distinguished Teacher in her district, her expertise and passion intersect at designing, implementing and evaluating innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Esra’s collaborative work with the classroom teachers earned the 2019 Connecticut Educators Computer Association (CECA), an affiliate of ISTE, Educator Award for supporting the vision to transform learning and teaching in developing creativity and openness to new ideas through technology integration. She is a frequent presenter of her journey both locally and at international conferences. Her collaborative work has been highlighted in teacher | librarian and The International Dyslexia Association Perspectives, peer-reviewed journals, along with contributions to TechRepublic, EdSurge, International Baccalaureate Organization, and Level Up Village. Esra shares her journey in her blog,

Fran Kompar is currently Director, Instructional Technology and Digital Learning, Wilton Public Schools in Wilton, CT. She also serves as an educational consultant for Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S) where she implemented a multi-year program entitled Re-Imagining the School Library (14 districts, over 133 schools represented). She has presented on various topics, most recently on the LMS in a digital transition, open educational resources and co-teaching strategies. The Wilton Public Schools Library Learning Commons Program was awarded the “Bunny Yesner” Library Media Program of the Year by the Connecticut Association for School Librarians (CASL) for excellence and innovation in programming. Fran is also a columnist for the national publication, Teacher Librarian, and invites edWeb members to follow her on her journey on Twitter @fkompar.

Join the community

STEM Learning: Full STEAM Ahead is a free professional learning community on that provides educators, curriculum leaders, and industry members with a place to collaborate on bringing more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into the classroom.

This edWeb broadcast was hosted by Level Up Village. The recording of the edWebinar can be viewed by anyone here.

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