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STEM to STEAM: Full Circle - Education to Economy

In the current moment of economic uncertainty, America is investing in STEM education to ensure a prosperous future. But a growing movement is arguing that we need the “A” for Art to turn STEM to STEAM to keep our country competitive.

21st century innovation depends on the problem-solving, risk-taking and iteration that is natural to the way artists and designers think; technology alone merely serves as a tool to enable this creativity. Creative thinking is required to solve the complex scientific challenges of the day, and to communicate, energize, and engage students of all ages in this learning. Sustaining arts education in its own right remains critically important. But equally important is taking a page from schools that have been successful at integrating the arts into STEM curriculum.

This panel will explore the spectrum of STEAM, including experts in the fields of science, arts integration curriculum, early childhood education, higher education and design technology.

Additional Supporting Materials

Learning Objectives

  1. Why is art and design poised to transform our economy in the 21st century like science and technology did in the last century?
  2. How can art and design methods be introduced into STEM curriculum, making science “visible” and discovery emotional? And what are some success examples of how technology has been used in the classroom to enable the creative process?
  3. What are some examples of schools and programs that are successfully implementing STEAM practices for developed critical thinking and problem solving skills?



John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design

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