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SXSW Interactive 2015

STEM, GEMS, & STEAM: Raising Kids in Art & Tech

Rather than segregating children into artists or scientists, thinkers and doers, or any other common separation, we need to cultivate these perceived dichotomies in every child. STEM needs to continue down the path of evolution to STEAM, incorporating the Arts along with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Creativity is an integral part of design and discovery. Additional programs, such as Girls Engaged in Math and Science help ensure that gender is not a dividing line.

This effort does not fall on the shoulders of either educators or parents alone. This is a journey we must all walk together to engage the next generations. The great thing about these topics is that they can be fun for all involved. The topics of STEAM are all around us and we can engage at every turn.

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  1. How can parents and educators adequately communicate STEAM education goals, lesson plans, and other topics with each other?
  2. When is it OK for parents to go off-script with topics outside of the current STEAM lesson plan or curriculum?
  3. How can parents best augment STEAM lessons with practical applications, projects, games, and other engaging methods?
  4. How can parents help bring the Arts into STEAM when a school district cuts artistic programs?
  5. Do parents have a responsibility to learn at least as much about STEAM topics as their children in order to keep up?


  • Brian McLaughlin, Space Network Software Systems Manager, NASA
  • Jason CranfordTeague, Technical Creative Director, JasonSpeaking
  • Helene McLaughlin, Student/Mother, Adams State University
  • Corrina Lawson, Founder and Content Director, GeekMom


Brian McLaughlin, Space Network Software Systems Manager, NASA

Meta Information:

  • Tags: education
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Science and Space Exploration
  • Level: Advanced
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