5-Minute Film Festival: Arts Integration Turns STEM to STEAM

Intrigued by the idea of adding the arts to STEM education? This video playlist highlights programs and projects around the country that are exploring STEAM learning. 

June 19, 2015

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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