STEAM is an initiative that incorporates the arts (the “A” in STEAM) into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum, instruction and assessment.

STEAM is more than integrating a variety of different content areas. It is a real-life way of thinking and learning. Learning in a STEAM context prepares students for success in coursework across the curriculum using proven creative strategies that are typically used in the arts. It ignites student interest in further study and potential careers, teaches life-long learning skills, and prepares students for life after school. 

Participating schools will 

  • Gain an understanding of exciting ways to implement creative thinking
  • Implement STEAM either school-wide or in multiple- or single-subject classrooms
  • Understand and practice how to incorporate STEAM teaching and learning strategies into daily, unit and long-term lesson planning

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the paradigm shift that STEAM represents, that it is not a new “program,” but a creative way to further impact student engagement and achievement
  • Understand the research that supports STEAM, including effective teaching and learning, differentiated instruction, project-based learning, and brain targeted teaching
  • Understand and practice how to incorporate STEAM teaching and learning strategies into your daily, unit, and long-term lesson planning
  • Understand and prepare to approach the delivery of science, match, engineering, and technology instruction creatively through expanded inquiry and literacy into the classroom
  • Understand the relationship of STEAM to the standards and the assessment of the NGSS and the CCSS in mathematics and language arts as well as becoming familiar with the art, music, dance and drama standards
  • Learn how to use STEAM to increase the participation and success in STEAM courses and careers for all subgroups, including underrepresented groups, low-achievers, English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with special needs


Tom Pilecki, a RWU University College instructor who co-authored a book titled “From STEM to STEAM,” explained that a national focus on STEM subjects failed to produce better test results. “What was missing from STEM was creativity,” he said. “They were buying more math books but not teaching teachers how to teach creatively and how to get students engaged.” So now arts integration is providing the missing element, Pilecki said. “I have always felt kids need the arts to be creative,” he said. “The process of creating art teaches kids innately to have stick-to-it-tiveness; they are going to do it until they get it right. If we get kids to be creative and investigative, we are going to have creative scientists and engineers, who need to have more than one way to do what they need to do.”

For more information, contact University College Admissions at

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