What is STEAM?

STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  It is a concept that embodies the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as the general goals and direction of the United States education world now.  One large umbrella concept for all of education going forward is that Science is not compartmentalized in the real world as it is/was in traditional K-12 schools.  

Science is no more and no less than the best tool each person has for learning about the universe around him/her.  It is also a part of everything we do, build, think, and feel.  Thus, STEAM is a way for educators to acknowledge to their students, to the public, and to themselves, the interconnected nature and wide application of "Science."

In a few words, STEAM is

  • Open and Careful Observations
  • Logical and Critical Thinking
  • Objective evaluation
  • Improvements and innovations

The traditional way of teaching general "Science" as a completely separate subject is contrary, and often counter productive, to the way the real world, and real people work.  Using STEAM as an integrated whole is how people live, make decisions, and take actions, and STEAM is as crucial to and as inextricable from your life as your heartbeat.  Whether you're an infant, student, teacher, parent, professional, amateur, artist, scientist, administrator, or anything, ALL people use STEAM to identify and solve problems in their work, whether it's an acutal paying job or not, and ALL people use STEAM to learn and explore whatever their personal interests may be.  From a single student's homework, to NASA's multi-billion dollar, international space missions, STEAM is used in every step, even, or perhaps ESPECIALLY, when people don't notice it.

If you have questions or are unsure about (or want to challenge) the STEAM connection to your own work, always feel free to email us.  


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Resource Type: 
NASA Resources