STEM to STEAM in Delaware
By now, many people are familiar with the educational platform STEM, which is the acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The movement began in 2006 and gained momentum from preschools to high schools. However, questions arose among educators whether STEM was really the complete equation to build a creative workforce marked by innovation. Art was a missing factor.
The origins of the STEAM movement begin in Providence, Rhode Island at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, championed by its president John Maeda. Its proposed objectives of the STEAM movement are to: transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM; encourage integration of Art + Design in education; and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.
DAA’s LEAD Committee heads up DAA’s effort to advocate for STEM to STEAM and make sure that core standards reflect the inclusion of arts education in all public and charter schools statewide.
At the grassroots level, the committee seeks that artists, art teachers, parents, and educators get involved in ensuring that the arts stay a pertinent part of the educational curriculum within the school districts of all three counties. At a September 2013 meeting of the Delaware Art Educators Association, many teachers expressed how a strong art program would impact their students. Arts education is vital to DAA’s mission and we will continue to advocate for STEAM throughout the state.
DCCA Summer Camp 2013 (Courtesy of Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts)