Art science: Adding STEAM to your STEM programming

STEM + Art = STEAM, a movement being widely adopted by individuals in education. Learn more about enriching art science programs.

Art science programming can be enhanced with STEAM. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) is a movement being widely adopted by individuals in education as an enriching art science program. For more information on the role that art and design play in science, view the Michigan State University Extension article Art science: The role of art and design in science.

This cross-disciplinary in learning of the STEM to STEAM movement is being accepted by institutions, corporations and individuals across the country. According to the Rhode Island School of Design, the STEAM movement has three objectives: to transform research policy to place “Art + Design” at the center of STEM; to encourage integration of “Art + Design” in kindergarten through twelfth grade education; and to influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation. To learn more about how an art science education can make a positive different in youth development, read Art science: Balancing an education.

Outside of school, MSU Extension 4-H science and technology and 4-H visual arts youth development programming offer many educational opportunities that can be combined in relation to STEAM. When science and art are combined, youth will both have fun and learn through the 4-H experiential learning model. These experiences can shape youth’s science, technology, engineering, mathematic and creative skills – STEAMing them into the future – while also teaming them valuable life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and decision making. For those interested, art science sessions will also be explored at the 4-H Visual Arts, Crafts, Sewing and Textiles Workshop offered in October at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan.

For youth and adults of any ages, STEAM can be seen in action at art shows, art museums, creative arts and crafts festivals, and other art type events are where art science comes alive. A great example of this is in southwest Michigan: ArtPrize. The ArtPrize® event is an organized international art competition displaying more three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. A 19-day event, ArtPrize has one of the best displays of art science that can be enjoyed by the public, as they view art from around the world utilizing many examples of technique, medium and creativity.

For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your local county MSU Extension office.

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