SchoolArts Magazine

March 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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should start with art and connect one or more additional disciplines. STEAM projects address standards in the STEAM subjects. No teacher can be an expert in all of the STEAM disciplines, but it is important to be acquainted with all the subjects taught. Familiarize yourself with the other disciplines' standards and vocabulary, or better yet, collaborate with a teacher who is an expert. STEAM projects engage students in the design cycle. The design cycle or design thinking process is one of the easiest and most effective ways to break out of your silo. This metacognitive process is a part of art, science, and engineering. In fact, many in the STEM fields refer to it as the Engineering Design Cycle and its use is part of the Next Genera- tion Science Standards. STEAM projects engage students in collaboration. STEM education relies heavily on teaming students. This is reflective of many STEM workplaces and teaches students how to work together. While teams are a great option in STEAM, we have additional possibilities. The cri - tique processes provides us with a rich model for working together and sup - porting the ideas and projects of others. STEAM projects result in individual solutions per student/group. Since STEAM problems are open- ended, they must result in individual solutions. Sometimes, each team will provide a solution that has been developed through brainstorming and working together. Other times, In a STEAM artroom, ever project should start with art and connect one or more additional disciplines. students will provide an individual solution that has been improved by the critique of their peers. STEAM projects include formal communication of solutions/findings. Humans build their knowledge on the discovery of others. This may take the form of written articles, public presen - tations, performances, or exhibitions, as long as our students understand that their contributions matter. Looking at these effective practices, I see strategies to nurture college and career readiness. But I see more. STEAM shouldn't merely be a way to make STEM more engaging or get more funds for the arts. It can be a way to make education more student-focused and holistic. Through STEAM, we can nurture both creativity and grit, both knowledge and know-how. Andrew D. Watson is a fine arts instruc- tional specialist with the Alexandria City, Virginia Public Schools. andrew. watson@ acps.k12.va.us Max Johnson, Radio Cross-section, grade eleven, 2014. Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia.

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