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STEAM explained

STEAM Explained

Chenango Forks, after some initial research, found that the P-Tech program, which was born in NYC, could be enhanced in both its scope and application.  In response to this, we at Chenango Forks, with the support of Congressman Richard Hanna, have developed our own School to Business model, grown from the seeds of P-Tech, but with an eye on enhancing and complimenting what was being done with P-Tech statewide.
A program will be developed and implemented where Chenango Forks High School students will have the opportunity to have both classroom and internship opportunities as part of a program in Central New York aimed at supporting growth in local businesses and industries, as well as preparing Chenango Forks students for high-skills jobs in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and media.
Chenango Forks High School, in cooperation with local businesses and industries, will provide a trained entry-level work force capable of supporting the productivity of specific businesses and industries in Central New York while at the same time encouraging these students to stay in Central New York.


STEM education is an acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 

This program was was the brainchild, in part, of Judith Ramaley, former director of the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human-Resources division.

The STEM approach to education is designed to improve the teaching of the subjects mathematics and science by incorporating technology and engineering into their regular curriculum.

The main idea is to foster cross-curriculum and inter-disciplinary connections that students don't normally see in a fragmented curriculum, with a hands on approach.

STEM Education attempts to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, exploratory learning, and requires students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution.

In other words, STEM was created, in part, to encourage innovation and the transfer of knowledge through project based learning.

What is STEAM education?

While STEM education refers to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts. STEAM recognizes that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be innovative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts. 

Not only do the Arts create the natural connective tissue to bind the various STEM disciplines together through hands on project based learning but they emphasize creative thinking, problem solving and research skills as well as being deeply rooted in critical thinking strategies.

Dr. Jerome Kagan, Emeritus professor at Harvard University and listed as one of the most eminent psychologist's of the 20th century, stated that the arts contribute amazingly well to learning because they regularly combine the three major tools that the mind uses to acquire, store, and communicate knowledge: motor skills, perceptual representation, and language.

This philosophy is supported and shared by such institutions as RISDI, Edutopia, the National Public Broadcasting Corporation and Discovery Education.

The case for STEAM

In 2005, Steve Jobs gave the commencement address at Stanford University.
As part of the speech, Jobs gave an eloquent description of STEAM in action, emphasizing the importance of design and design thinking, cross-curriculum and multi-disciplinary education, and described how the Arts (something as unlikely as calligraphy of all things) contributed to the engineering of the Macintosh computer.

House Resolution 51

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Congressman Aaron Schock formed the Congressional STEAM Caucus with the goal of encouraging the creativity needed to drive an economy of innovation forward. 

“There were digital music devices before the iPod, but it took creative design and interface development from Apple (iTunes) to transform the way the world listens to music,” Bonamici said. “We frequently discuss the importance of STEM education, but we can’t ignore the importance of engaging and educating both halves of the brain. Creative, critical thinking leads to innovation.  The integration of the arts into STEM curriculum will excite creativity in the minds of our future leaders and innovators.”

The result of this caucus was House Resolution 51 (113th Congress) reinforcing the importance of the Arts and pushing for STEAM education.

A Whole New Mind

In his book "A Whole New Mind" Daniel Pink discusses the applicability of design and the right brain attributes in an "age of abundance", and discusses how, in the 21st century, linear and logical thinking by themselves, are no longer sufficient for success.

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