STEAM is an acronym for the transdisciplinary integration of the five disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The STEAM acronym is built upon the STEM acronym, and often they are used interchangeably. STEAM education places a priority on the study of science and math with purposeful integration of the arts, technology, and the engineering design process. STEAM education is an opportunity for students to collaboratively solve engaging and relevant problems using innovation and creativity. The engineering design process allows students to identify problems, design possible solutions, test and evaluate those solutions until the best solution is discovered. STEAM in the classroom engages students in real-world situations and allows students to experience solution-finding for problems that are relevant to today’s world.
Best practices in STEAM education wrap around a transdisciplinary approach where rigorous academic concepts are blended with real-world applications. STEAM allows students to make connections among school, community, work, and the larger world in which they live. Best practices in STEAM education allow for the inclusion of the arts and the humanities in order to broaden and deepen the scope of instruction. Best practices in STEAM education convey not only skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity, but also personal competencies such as adaptability, resiliency, perseverance, courage, and optimism.