George Lucas Educational Foundation
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illustration of a paintbrush inside a test tube

We have all heard the dire statistics about how we're not preparing American kids for the STEM careers of the future -- but there are many who say that a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math alone is not the answer. What about integrating creativity and the arts as a path to better engagement in, and understanding of, the STEM subjects? Or bring some humanities in, for the (somewhat unfortunate!) acronym SHTEAM? I've gathered the playlist of videos below to show some of the remarkable programs educators are building around this idea, as well as a few fun project ideas.

Video Playlist: Bringing the Arts Into STEM Education

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.


  1. Lasers, Fire, Robots: The Best of STEAM Carnival 2014 (03:03)

    Full disclosure: I gave to the Kickstarter that helped launch STEAM Carnival. I just think it's the coolest idea -- something like a Maker Faire combined with the circus. Learn more from the founders' TEDx talk.

  2. What is STEAM education and littleBits? (03:58)

    True, this video with adorable children explaining what STEAM means is an ad for littleBits, but I'm all for DIY electronics kits that help kids jump into hands-on learning. Plus, they offer educator discounts and lesson plans!

  3. STEM and Creative Writing | Science of Superheroes Lesson (02:47)

    I'm a huge fan of everything 826 does, and this is no exception -- a workshop that brought writing and STEM together for nearly 100 kids across three cities. Check out their book STEM to Story for lesson plan ideas, or learn more in this article from GOOD.

  4. STEM, STEAM, and In Between (07:37)

    Arts integration educator Susan Riley from Education Closet does a really great job explaining the nuances of why STEM exists and how adding the arts can be a natural fit in this video. Read Riley's Edutopia blog on the same topic here.

  5. What Letter Should We Add to STEM? (02:43)

    Filmed by The Atlantic at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2014, luminaries from Howard Gardner to Sebastian Thrun weigh in on why we should includes the arts (and humanities!) in our focus on STEM.

  6. Staging STEM -- Theatre Arts Integration -- Alley Theatre (02:57)

    You're in luck if you're near Houston -- the Alley Theatre brings drama to science and math with their Staging STEM Porgram. Learn more about the program here.

  7. Integrating Art with STEM Education | Océane Boulais | TEDxBocaRaton (07:55)

    Engineering student Océane Boulais is a passionate advocate for bringing the arts into STEM, and she takes inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs to make her case.

  8. Young Audiences of Louisiana STEM Arts-Integrated Curriculum (03:38)

    This isn't the most deeply integrated example of STEAM I've seen, but the adorable kids make it worth a watch -- the profiled program is from Young Audiences of Louisiana.

More Resources on STEM to STEAM

Not everyone agrees that STEAM makes sense, of course, and not everyone is really doing justice to the concept in their programs. There are champions and detractors from the arts education world as well as the STEM side. But if you're interested in hearing more about the debate, or finding some curriculum ideas to give it a try in your own classroom, start with Edutopia's own STEM to STEAM resource roundup page, and then check out the links below. As always, feel free to leave additional ideas or resources in the comment section below!

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Ashley Gomez's picture
Ashley Gomez
Former Community Engagement & Social Media Marketing Intern

Wow, love this compilation of videos. Makes me wish they had STEAM back when I was in K-12!

raymond rose's picture
raymond rose
Online Learning and Accessibility Evangelist

I wish we'd see the Arts integrated into STEM in a different way. STEAM has interesting connotations, and I frequently see images of steam engines used with STEM and Arts programs. Maybe not as visually appealing, but more 21st century would be to integrate the Arts into STEM as TEAMS -- which is more accurate in describing how the Arts is integrated into STEM in real life.

Evy Roy's picture
Evy Roy
Former Community and Social Media Intern at Edutopia

Raymond rose, I love that idea. STEAM (or TEAMS) is all about collaboration and integration, and the word "teams" conjures up images of kids working together, rather than an industrial steam engine. Thanks for those thoughts.

willa taylor's picture
willa taylor
Director, Education and Community Engagement, Goodman Theatre

It's a blended learning class but I think we could adapt it for online only. It is not specific to Chicago; part of the project is to adapt a show built to scale for us to whatever performance space a school has.

GCE Lab School, our partners in this, have an online "Learn The Model" course for any teachers who are interested in using/teaching the courses on their website.

Kristin Andaya's picture

All the videos are so inspiring! As a second grade teacher, I really enjoyed #9, the Young Audiences video. I definitely want to try the stamps when we're doing life science this year. I'll have them add the technology piece of doing the usual report/poster on an animal of their choice online rather than on paper. Voicethread, Google Slides, Glogster would all be great alternatives to the predictable poster on the wall. Many thanks for this video collection!

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