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AEP and ECS Are Bringing the STEAM This Summer!

Date: 04 July 2023
Image caption: A diverse group of five young students are painting outside in the grass. This post was first published on Ed Note, Education Commission of the States’ education policy blog.

Over the past two years, the Arts Education Partnership and Education Commission of the States have collaboratively led a preschool through fifth grade STEAM education initiative for state leaders around the country. We feature new resources, research, convenings and technical assistance for policymakers to take advantage of. As the next convening approaches — as an invite-only ancillary event at ECS’ National Forum on Education Policy — we’d like to share a few STEAM education resources to inform your work and a sneak peek into the upcoming event.

Our resources aim to educate state policymakers and raise awareness around a variety of issues, including equity and access, governance and the benefits of high-quality STEAM education — we’ve even had a little fun too! Below are a few of our most recent related resources:

  • Equity and access: Explore strategies to address racial, socioeconomic and gender gaps in STEM education and the workforce by focusing on the P-5 grades, as well as notable programs from around the country.
  • Governance: Learn about the various actors of the STEAM education ecosystem at the state level, alongside state examples focusing on funding, stakeholder engagement and K-12 pathways.
  • Benefits of P-5 STEAM education: Read a summary of research about STEAM education’s impact on language, literacy, numeracy and writing skills, as well social and emotional learning, and the importance of supporting teachers’ professional development.

In addition to our current resources, we’ll develop more shared understandings and discuss the transformative potential of STEAM education at our convening in July.

Our summer workshop will provide the following insights:

  • A deep dive into what STEAM education is (and isn’t) and what high-quality STEAM looks like in practice.
  • State spotlights featuring Georgia and West Virginia’s STEAM education efforts that span across their state education agencies and higher education institutes.
  • How to incorporate play and authentic learning in STEAM education for deeper student learning.
  • How one large city has built out a strong STEAM ecosystem of community partnerships to drive achievement.
  • An exploration of how AEP and ECS can continue to provide support.

As we look ahead at the next phase of this work, AEP and ECS will publish three new case studies elevating exemplary work from around the country and develop new policy resources. We’ll also lead a community of practice and technical assistance network with four to five states to help them learn, collaborate and build up STEAM education in their states.

Be on the lookout for a new policy resource on the state of early numeracy. It will feature recent research and state examples around reversing troubling recent trends!

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits