STEAM is an interdisciplinary approach that bridges STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines with the Arts, humanities, and social sciences in meaningful ways. STEAM is rooted in the conviction that the challenging questions of the 21st century can only be answered through the integrated efforts of all disciplines working together. STEAM embraces and explores the idea that interdisciplinary critical thinking inspires innovative solutions. The power of STEAM is now beginning to be embraced by K-12 education systems, summer camps, libraries and even the United States government through the Bi-Partisan Congressional STEAM Caucus.
“Embracing the arts and insisting on the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of research and teaching offered by the physical and social sciences is integral and necessary to fulfilling the best 21st century possibilities.” – Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Keith Whitfield
“If someone had told Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, or Galileo that the study of science in the 21st century would be separated from the creativity of the arts or the social, cultural, and historical insights into human behavior offered by the humanities, they would have wondered what scientists had done to make the world disrespect them so much. It’s an odd idea to separate out different kinds of knowledge that inspire and enrich one another in the real world and the virtual too.” – Duke Professor Emeritus Cathy Davidson
“I believe art and design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century like science and technology did in the last century. Adding art and design to STEM to create STEAM will keep America competitive. As a lifelong STEM student – I spent many years at MIT before coming to RISD – I’ve seen firsthand the progress that STEM education can produce. But I’ve also witnessed STEM’s limits. Innovation depends on the problem solving, risk-taking and creativity that is natural to the way artists and designers think. Art and science – once inextricably linked – are better together than apart.” – President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) John Maeda