Steam was founded by the Rhode Island School of Design and is now widely accepted by various institutions, corporations and individuals across North America. The STEAM philosophy aims to incorporate the Arts into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). The objectives of steam include: transforming research policy to put an emphasis on Art + Design in STEM, advocate for the integration of Art into K-20 education and to influence employers to employ artists and designers to grow our economy while driving innovation.

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Get to Know Launch Event

 "It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning unexpected findings of science." - Carl Sagan   

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This world is but a canvas to our imagination. - Henry David Thoreau


The Get to Know Program is a great example of utilizing the arts to effectively educate the next generation.  The program encourages youth to get outside, learn more about the plants and animal species that surround them, and creatively interact with nature through their talents of song writing, painting, poetry, photography, etc.  By promoting genuine engagements with nature, young people are given a more powerful environmental education than they might by reading textbooks in a classroom. When people know more about their wild neighbours, they are much more likely to care about their protection and sustainability.

History and Evolution of STEAM

The modern STEAM education movement is a response to the educational strategy that began in the United States in the 1990s which was designed to improve school’s curriculum by integrating the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  As countries like China and India began to surpass the United States in technologically skilled and innovative workers, the STEM acronym began to refer to US’s shortage of workers in these areas and the insufficiency of the current educational strategies to address global technological competition. The STEM model has since become the primary formula for elementary, secondary and post-secondary school curriculum across the US and in many countries in the world. Agencies such as the National Science Foundation invest heavily in STEM education by funding science and technology research in universities and colleges (Reauthorization Act, 2010). Many believe that this kind of STEM educational strategy is the only way to foster economic growth and national development.  

STEAM advocates disagree.  Those who argue that arts should become a vital part of education believe that it is possible to teach creativity to students and it is essential to do so in order to produce innovative thinkers who will not just enhance a nation’s culture, but grow its economy as well (White, 2011). STEAM education should not be considered and idealistic luxury, but an absolute necessity in schools across the world (Eger, 2013). This is why defenders of the arts are working hard to engage educators, governments, businesses, media, and public thought leaders to get on board with the STEAM movement.