STEAM – an acronym encompassing science, technology, engineering, the Arts, and math – is an interdisciplinary approach to education grounded in the development of identity, intellect, criticality, skills, and joy. The goal of STEAM is the development of literacy in the individual subjects as well as in specific transdisciplinary competencies necessary to empower students to tackle the challenges of today and build our tomorrow. While the District has no standardized structure for a STEAM program, many schools have developed STEM or STEAM classes, built makerspaces, or developed interdisciplinary projects across classes.
The primary goal of SDP STEAM is to develop STEAM literacy in order to create successful, fully engaged citizens of the world. The SDP defines STEAM Literacy using Ghouldy Muhammed’s Historically Responsive Literacy framework including the following five dimensions: identity, criticality, skills, intellect, and joy.
- Identity – Students who are literate in STEAM have developed social and cultural awareness, investigated and validated a sense of who they are and what they want to do, envisioned themselves in STEAM roles, and taken steps to realize their visions
- Criticality – Students who are literate in STEAM have developed an understanding of power, inequality, equity and oppression. Students who are literate in STEAM are provided the tools, understanding, and practices necessary to investigate and act upon systems of oppression
- Skills – Students who are literate in STEAM have developed proficiency in the following core competencies: collaboration, communication, computational thinking, critical thinking, creativity, data and digital literacy, design thinking, ethical work, problem solving, STEAM mindset, and transfer
- Intellect – STEAM literacy means having the ability to investigate and act on the challenges facing students’ communities, both local and global. This ability requires students to meet standards in science, math, ELA, Art, computer science, and technology.
- Joy – Creating, designing, expressing, investigating, collaborating, and tackling problems facing our world are powerfully joyous experiences. Students who are literate in STEAM have gained the ability to find joy in these activities.