STEAM education, referring to integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, is a contemporary buzzword that is popular in many schools. In particular, many elementary school teachers who have been tasked to incorporate STEM teaching, because of the requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards, attempt to apply the arts in their science curriculum because they feel more comfortable using instructional approaches that incorporate creative activities such as crafts, drawing, and model construction than the core practices of STEM disciplines. Teachers can use the creative arts activities in two ways to enhance the STEM learning environment: 1) Using creative processes as a way to gain access to students’ ideas before science content is taught, to help guide further instruction; and 2) Using creativity as a means for students to express their understanding of science content. In this editorial, we explore how the arts can help students generate “Big Ideas” about science, construct questions, and share their understanding of the topic with authentic audiences. We will also discuss the scope and nature of discipline of specific STEM fields and how the arts could be incorporated into these practices.
Kuhn, M., Greenhalgh, S., & McDermott, M. (2016). Using creativity from art and engineering to engage students in science. Journal of STEM Arts, Crafts, and Constructions, 1(2), 9-15.