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My name is Gemelli Briceno and I am a Program Coordinator at the New York City Department of Design and Construction's Community Partnership and STEAM Initiatives. I have a BS in Psychology and have experience working as a Sub Para-professional for the Department of Education and Program Assistant for an after-school program for children with mental and/or behavioral challenges.
Within my current role, I am able to provide programs, events, and curricula that promote student interest in the architecture, engineering, and construction career fields. I have had the opportunity to work with community based organizations, after-school programs and Title 1 schools to bring our resources and pipeline opportunities to underrepresented students in underserved communities.
My Topic and Purpose
Adding the A in STEM Education is a mini-course geared to promote the importance of including art within the STEM education community. By addressing the move from STEM to STEAM when education policymakers felt STEM education missed elements that were important for innovation - design thinking and creativity, learners will learn the difference between STEM and STEAM education and how just by adding the "A" rejuvenates STEM saturated students.
By reviewing case studies and articles, learners will analyze the impact of fusing art with the core disciplines of math and science. Amid untangling the misapprehension of art being an essential tool, this mini-course provides STEAM educational devices educators can use within the classroom. Learners will acquire a STEAM lesson plan that can be added to their toolbox or repurposed.
Educators will observe how art stimulates mindful engagement within the classroom to deepen understanding of any faulty preconceived ideas students may have surrounding science, math, and engineering concepts. As students are exposed to the coalition of STEAM, they can enhance their skills in collaboration, questioning, problem-solving, and critical thinking as they tackle real-world issues and create solutions on their own.
Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content
• Learners will able to distinguish the difference between STEM and STEAM education
• Learners will be able to integrate art activities into content specific lesson plans
As researchers continue to explore whether education can benefit when Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines are linked, many professionals of each discipline will still address each discipline individually. With the addition of Arts within STEM education (STEAM), many educators are not aware of how influential art can be when infused into academic disciplines. The State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) defines STEAM as "an intentional, collaborative pedagogy for teachers that empowers learners to engage in real-world experiences through the authentic alignment of standards, processes, and practices in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics" (Huser, 2020). Daughtery (2013) expresses that art "improves students' performance in traditional academic subjects such as reading and mathematics" and that "in science, art can be seen as a different way of seeing the world, or a heuristic [enabling someone to discover or learn something for themselves] that leads to a different understanding of the world".
The need for expanding the STEM toolbox to include Arts and become STEAM education can benefit students to become innovative and creative within the science, engineering and math career fields. There has been a need for arts learning as it embraces solving the complex and ever-evolving needs in the workforce. Huser et. al stated, "The artistic processes of creating; presenting, performing, and/or producing; responding; and connecting are not only fundamental to arts education, they are fundamental to student success across all domains" (2020). STEAM education would provide modules that offer the opportunity to fashion students into innovative leaders that are essential to today's economy. A study by McGrath and Brown (2005) sought to illustrate that visual arts can improve cognition in STEM education. "Visual learning is an important method for exploiting students’ visual senses to enhance learning and engage the higher cognitive parts of the brain. By thinking and communicating visually, students in their study improved how they performed during experimental research tests" (Daughtery, 2013).
What is to be Learned
Learners wills be able to understand the importance and effectiveness of including Arts in STEM education. This mini course will demonstrate to learners how effective instruction in STEAM depends on the responsibility of the educator to ensure the intersection among all STEM content areas, their standards are identified and appropriately incorporated in the design of curricula, lesson plans, and student work output.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The Learners: The learners are formal and informal educators interested in launching STEAM education within their classroom.
Learners Analysis: Learners that choose this mini course consist of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art educators (STEM content educators) as STEAM education is multifaceted.
Context for Instruction: Content will be delivered online and participants will be able to access it at home, wherever they have an internet connection and a computer.
Goals: Learners will be able to apply art concepts within specific disciplines.
• Learners will analyze the difference between STEM and STEAM education by reflecting on case studies explaining the impact of art in STEM education
• Learners will identify techniques to incorporate art into STEM education by reviewing various STEAM initiatives/program from around the world
• Learners will integrate art elements in future lesson plans by reviewing various STEAM lesson plans
• Learners will understand the importance of integrating art into student learning by reflecting on various related case studies
Elaborate and analyze the objectives to identify more specific enabling and supporting objectives.
Goal: Participants will develop techniques and ideas on how integrate art into their instruction to improve the learning environment
Prerequisites: All educators interested in learning how integrating art into content-specific instruction can be impactful. Recommended for STEM content teachers.
References and Resources
Huser, Joyce et al. (2020). STEAM and the Role of the Arts in STEM. New York: State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education.
McGrath, M.B., and Brown, J. R. (2005). Visual learning for science and engineering, Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE, 25(5), 56-63.