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STEM, STEAM, STREAM: Which One Should You Do?

Recently, I have been asked by several readers: “Should I be doing STEM, STEAM or STREAM?” I wish I had an easy answer, but it will depend on several factors. Let’s start breaking it down by reviewing what each one is.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM

STEM — In simplest terms, STEM is curriculum which focuses on the skills needed to learn Science, Technology and Mathematics and how the Engineering Design process is used to achieve a desired outcome. Be sure to read this post about what STEM means to these educators and authors: The Best STEM Explanations from 8 Pioneering Professionals.  

STEAM — STEAM adds (the) Arts to Science, Engineering, Technology and Math. Keep in mind the “A” stands for “the arts” not “art” as I originally thought. The arts incorporate humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design, new media, and consequently, creative thinking and the creative process. While the “A” component can be an extension, it should not be just an add-on, but rather an integral part of the learning objectives. For a comprehensive guide, including examples, check out this post: WHAT IS STEAM? STEAM Is What Happens When You Add the “A”

STREAM — STREAM is the newest adaptation of the acronym, and the “R” means different things to different people. For some, the “R” stands for reading; for others, robotics; and for another group, the “R” incorporates religion. My personal focus and field of expertise reflects religion. With my Bible STEM challenges, students’ problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity are developed through the exploration of Bible stories. Students also develop their reading comprehension and vocabulary with these Bible STEM projects. If you would like to read more about them, here is A Guide to Bible STEM Challenges.

Which One Should You Do?

The decision to implement STEM, STEAM or STREAM will be based on your school’s philosophy, the age of your students, and the strength and weaknesses of your other curriculum.

Additionally, there is some belief that adding to the original STEM dilutes its fundamental purpose. On the other hand, there is support for adding the arts, as well as reading, robotics and religion in that it attracts students with less interest and skill in traditional STEM disciplines.

Regardless of whether you will be teaching STEM, STEAM or STREAM, you will want a concise, engaging introduction for your students.

I have designed three PowerPoint presentations that will make it easy for you!

Introduction to STEM and Engineering Design Process PowerPoint

This PowerPoint presentation is perfect to teach students what STEM is, understand how the Engineering Design Process works, and experience working on STEM Challenges with peers.

The 27 slide PowerPoint Presentation contains the following:

  • Title slide
  • 5 slides on what STEM is
  • 7 slides on skills developed by STEM
  • 2 slides on the importance of STEM
  • 8 slides on what an engineer is, the engineering process, and the steps involved
  • 2 slides with STEM challenges
  • 2 slides with planning and reflection sheets

Introduction to STEAM and Engineering Design Process PowerPoint

This PowerPoint presentation is perfect to teach students what STEAM is, understand how the Engineering Design Process works, and experience working on STEAM Challenges with peers.

The 30 slide PowerPoint Presentation contains the following:

  • Title slide
  • 6 slides on what STEAM is
  • 7 slides on skills developed by STEAM
  • 4 slides on the importance of STEAM
  • 8 slides on what an engineer is, the engineering process, and the steps involved
  • 2 slides with STEAM challenges
  • 2 slides with planning and reflection sheets

Introduction to STREAM and Engineering Design Process PowerPoint

This PowerPoint presentation is perfect to teach students what STREAM is, understand how the Engineering Design Process works, and experience working on a STREAM Challenge with peers.

The 30 slide PowerPoint Presentation contains the following:

  • Title Slide
  • 7 slides on what STREAM is
  • 8 slides on skills developed by STREAM
  • 3 slides on the importance of STREAM
  • 8 slides on what an engineer is, the engineering process, and the steps involved
  • 1 slide with STEAM challenge
  • 1 slide with planning and reflection sheet

You can get one or ALL of them, as well as tons more STEM lessons that are engaging, rich in standards and fun! How? Join Jewel’s School Gems Club Today!

STEM, STEAM, STREAM PowerPoint Resources

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