Image courtesy of Terry Williams and Thomine Wilson
What is STEAM?
S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Mathematics. It’s STEM education but with the addition of the art subject. STEAM learning can promote creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Integrating art concepts like design into STEM subjects can encourage students create innovative projects, products, and solutions. Although the arts may not get a lot of love in schools, a study showed that when it was integrated in a classroom students were more creative, engaged, and more effective at problem solving than a non-art integrated classroom.
The STEAM Train
In honor of the STEAM learning philosophy every month or so I will share a collection of edtech resources, one for each of the STEAM subjects. Here are a few to get you started:
What this Resource Includes: Science Reading Material, Interactive Content
Grade Level: 3-6
What it does well: Bobo Explores Light is a great app to introduce young kids to a few concepts of physics. It resembles an interactive e-book with a robot as your guide. Each page cover a different scientific concept. Users can interact with gadgets, lasers and other science instruments in the app and learn by observing reactions from these interactive features. The app also provides reading material about science phenomenon including lasers, lightning, and bio-luminescence.
What this Resource Includes: Coding Games
Subjects: Programming-Java, C#
Grade Level: 6-12+
What it does well: Code Hunt is a programming online game from the Research in Software Engineering group and Connections group at Microsoft Research. As of now it teaches users Java and C# coding. The game consists of many levels where players learn about arithmetic operators, conditional statements, loops, strings, search algorithms and more.
What this Resource Includes: Breadboard, Schematic and PCB editor, Shop for Electrical Circuit Kits
Subjects: Electrical Engineering
Grade Level: 6-12+
What it does well: 123D Circuits is an online circuit breadboard simulator that lets users experiment with digital circuits and share them with an online community. The site also includes a shop where users can purchase conductive pens and various circuit kits. It even includes a basic circuit kit designed for teachers to use in a classroom.
What this Resource Includes: Digital Music Sheets
Subjects: Music Sheet Reading
Grade Level: 3-12+
What it does well: Chromatik is a music learning app that includes music teaching tools like sheet music, electronic recorders, metronomes, and tuners. The app includes a music sheet library from different genres of music. Users can create their own sheet music and share it on the app. They can also record themselves playing an instrument and then share the audio with the Chromatik community or through social media.
What this Resource Includes: Math Games
Grade Level: 1-6
Platform: Android, iPad & iPhone
Price: $4.99 & $7.99
What it does well: Dragonbox teaches players algebra without any numerical values. There are two versions of the game with 12+ being more difficult than 5+. It has game mechanics that makes it addicting, similar to other mobile games like Angry Birds. Each level becomes increasingly difficult to keep challenging the player. A score of up to three stars can be earned for each level. The less moves a player made to complete the level, the higher the score. Dragonbox earns bonus points for providing teacher resources on their website. It includes manuals, worksheets, and Common Core standards alignment.
Do you know of any other Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math edtech resources? Share it with the rest of the class by commenting below!
Until next time, keep learning everyone.