blank'/> Promoting Success: STEAM Activities and Project Ideas for Elementary and Middle School Kids

Monday, January 7, 2019

STEAM Activities and Project Ideas for Elementary and Middle School Kids

What is the difference between STEM and STEAM?

STEM provides experiential learning though science technology, engineering and math.

STEAM allows the integration of the arts...wonder, critique, inquiry and innovation!

STEAM is an educational initiative created by the Rhode Island School of Design that adds the arts to the original STEM framework. According to the Rhode Island School of Design, “The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” The addition of the arts to the original STEM framework is important as practices, such as modeling, developing explanations, and engaging in critique, and evaluation (argumentation), have too often been under-emphasized in the context of math & science education.

Why is STEAM so important?

Our students' futures will require them to be able to think critically. The ability to be able to solve problems is essential. STEAM creates this framework to teach these necessary skills to students. Students are taught beyond the subject matter.  They are taught HOW to learn, HOW to ask questions, HOW to experiment and HOW to create. This fosters life long learners.

The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM. - US Department of Education

You may also hop on over to Edutopia to learn more about STEAM, such as:
  • Benefits of STEAM
  • Art of Thinking Like a Scientist
  • The Secret Sauce in STEAM
  • Arts Integration
  • Project-Based Learning
  • STEAM Activities and Project Ideas

How do I create a STEAM classroom?

There is a lot of information regarding this process, however, The Education Closet breaks in down into six easy steps:

1. Focus

2. Detail

3.  Discovery

4.  Application

5. Presentation

6. Link

For more information on these six steps, click HERE.


You may also be interested in these printable resources from our TpT store:

All of the following projects are very open ended allowing for students to explore and direct their own learning.

STEAM Crystals Project


You may also like these resources from our Amazon Associate store:
(affiliate links)

by Liz Lee Heinecke

Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!