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Discovering Art Within S.T.E.A.M.

Discovering Art Within S.T.E.A.M.

article contributed by LakeshoreLearning.com

Art can be many things. It can be free-form creativity, an expression of feelings, representation of life, the beginning of an experience, or the reflection of one. When applying Art into the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), the whole process is opened up to endless possibilities.


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But, if there is a solution that will reap the desired results, why open up the process to other possibilities? Why delay the gratification of getting to the right answer for the sake of artistic expression? One reason might be to focus young learners on the process over the product; including artistic possibilities keeps young learners engaged during the process. Another reason might be to appreciate that gratification for young learners can come from the play process as well as from the culmination of their efforts. In STEAM, Art can enrich the play process and a child’s real-world connections. Art is a process, like all of learning, and it can be integrated throughout the day.

Creative Circle Time Brainstorming

“What would you wear if it was cold?”

Brainstorming with an open-ended question like this during circle time can begin an experience that is creative and open to possibilities. It might lead children to discuss, sort, and design clothes to wear; or draw images of weather; or go outside and collect evidence of the seasons that could be displayed on a word wall or poster. Teachers could then facilitate learning while children are driven by these artistic possibilities.

Bubble Discovery Play

Bubble play can be enriched by intentionally including Art. Children’s creativity can be observed when they employ unique technology to create bubbles, such as using a kitchen spatula with holes or making a bubble wand out of a pipe stem. Engineering bubbles with color can lead to the trial and error of producing bubbles with new colors. Then they can have the color bubbles pop onto paper, which leaves behind an artistic reflection of the experience children had during their bubble play.

Unlock the Power of Blocks


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“How can we make the car go faster or slower?”

Ramps made from unit blocks can be used to roll cars down or to push cars up. Children can also engage in building barriers that might stop or change the direction of a rolling ball. Being artistic with blocks can be an outlet for many cause-and-effect experiments. Blocks can also complement the engineering design process by offering artistic ways to build a sturdy house, a farm for animals, or a new form of transportation. Blocks and block accessories can feed a child’s artistic imagination.

Art as a part of the STEAM integration keeps the door open to possibilities and creative design for all learners.

Lakeshore Learning Materials has resources that seamlessly integrate Art within STEAM. The Make-A-Design Sand Pendulum uses artistic sand designs to explore force, motion, and trajectory. The Create-A-Chain Reaction STEM Kit incorporates creative engineering design with gravity and momentum to engage learners.


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