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Incorporating STEAM in your TAB classroom can seem like a huge undertaking. Many TAB teachers already facilitate risk-taking, innovative thinking, and collaboration in their curriculum naturally. But what about STEAM content? Even though the spirit of STEAM is not based on teaching specific math or science concepts, TAB teachers have a unique space that allows us to expose students to a variety of cross-curricular content. That said, all teachers can tweak the ideas below to fit their unique teaching styles.
Start to develop a collection of drawing books, observational drawing objects, and other resources that support science and math learning.
You might consider:
Label these resources with a STEAM sticker to help kids (and administrators) make the connection!
The collage center is also a great place to bring in math and science. For example, you can teach students to work in 3D with paper using accordion folds, tubes, and other methods. Or, you can create a tabletop origami center with origami paper, how-to books, and even some advanced resources for students like this Beginners Book of Modular Origami Polyhedra.
You might also consider providing:
The sculpture center is a great place to highlight engineering and design.
Here are some ideas.
Although you might think ceramics and STEAM aren’t a natural fit, there is a lot you can do here, too!
Try out some of the following ideas.
Once you’ve started adding cross-curricular content to your classroom, see how students respond. It’s important to remember that adding STEAM content is more about sparking kids’ interests than teaching particular knowledge.
For example, my origami center is not popular because it incorporates math but because kids love origami. That said, it does get kids thinking about geometry in a fun and deeply meaningful way. Plus, I enjoy finding resources to help my kids make STEAM connections such as the movie Between the Folds on PBS, that talks about how origami can be used to make medicines or used in space innovation.
Being an art teacher gives us a unique opportunity to reach kids in many ways. Facilitate risk-taking, support collaboration, and get kids talking about interesting stuff. That’s where the real learning happens.
How do you bring STEAM concepts into your art curriculum?
Do you have any ideas to add to the lists above?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors from across the nation and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University or any of its academic offerings.