The concept of “STEM” was first introduced nearly 20 years ago in an effort to create an interdisciplinary approach to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As this concept developed, it became “STEAM” to include the arts. Since the arts encompass such a wide variety of disciplines, they represent a significant expansion of this idea.
From painting and photography to creative writing and even architecture, the arts represent the more creative side of STEAM. They foster inventiveness and original thought, two qualities that have facilitated the creation of numerous game-changing technologies.
The ability to think outside the box is essential for professionals in every field, from software developers and biotechnologists to space engineers and laboratory scientists. Moreover, the use of cutting-edge technology is becoming increasingly common among working artists.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the amazing technological accomplishments fostered by STEAM Art education and some ways to incorporate STEAM into your CS classroom!
The Art-Technology Connection
We can’t talk about this connection without first mentioning Georgette Yakman, the creative mind behind the “STEAM” concept. Yakman, a former engineering and technology teacher, has a Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Textiles. In 2009, three years after the idea of “STEAM”, she was named NCTC's STEM Teacher of the Year. The connection between art and technology was essential in expanding her business and has proven essential for many others as well.
Innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) have completely revolutionized our world. From a microscope capable of detecting cancer with incredible accuracy to R2D2-like crime-fighting robots, these novel technologies offer creative solutions to real-world problems. Moreover, artists in industries such as film, videography, and photography have adopted these technologies to further enhance the experience of their work.
Considering the tremendous value the arts add to STEAM education, how do we ensure their integration into the computer science and technology curriculum? That’s where we come in!
STEAM Art and Computer Science
The concept of STEAM is centered around improving the engagement of students in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. This engagement is easily enhanced via hands-on projects that require critical thinking. Hence, the mounds of STEAM projects and resources over the last several years.
STEAM can help your students develop critical thinking skills while bringing about their own creative perspectives, which is the foundation of innovative ideas!
At pi-top, we understand the workload of a teacher and how time consuming it can be to plan additional lessons and activities. We have you covered!
Our experts have listed some easy and engaging STEAM activities to help get your student’s creative juices flowing!
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: Creative STEAM Project
- Combine the language arts, fine arts, and technology by engineering real trufulla trees! The best part is, the amount of creativity and imagination is limitless! Students of all ages and skill levels can collaborate to create a simplified or more advanced version. Challenge your students' critical thinking skills and creativity with this awesome STEAM project.
Fairground Carousel STEAM Project
- Students can put their imaginations to work in this STEAM-centered challenge by personalizing their very own motorized carousel. They will acquire fundamental CS knowledge, such as how to program animation and effects with LEDs.
Rover Tunnel Card STEAM Project
- Engineers at pi-top have designed a fun and educational tunnel card to inspire the next generation of engineers. The card is colored and assembled by the students as a group project. The LED lights are housed in the base and can be turned on and off with a button that your students can learn to program.
Zoetrope Animation STEAM Project
- A zoetrope is a fun and creative way for students to practice engineering and programming.
Check out Further, our online project library, to learn about the history of the zoetrope and find more creative STEAM challenges!