Susan Riley | March 2016

Episode 45: Is there a Right and a Wrong Way to STEAM?

Is There A Right & Wrong Way To STEAM?

Recently, I’ve been noticing more and more people who are jumping onto the STEAM train.  People are excited and getting inspired by all of the possibilities that STEAM affords us.  This is absolutely fantastic!  I’m never going to put down anything or anyone that is trying to turn the classroom around with STEAM.

This even goes for the resources that are popping up on the topic as well.  There are more classes and workshops, lessons and planners, and conference sessions being offered than ever before, all showcasing the multi-faceted power of STEAM.  And as educators, this is a good thing.  We should embrace this with open arms, right?

Apparently, not everyone thinks so.  While I’ve been noticing the STEAM trend rise, I’m also noticing some folks who are getting more and more vocal in their dislike for the STEAM resources being shared.  They are claiming that what’s out there isn’t “real” STEAM or that it’s doing a “disservice” to what STEAM is and who it serves.

So that leads me to ask…is there a right and a wrong way to STEAM?  Can you mess this up?  And if so, how do you know if you are doing it “right” or “wrong”.

In today’s SparkChasers podcast episode, we’re going to explore this topic and what I share might surprise you.  Let me know what you think in the comments below – I’d love your insight!


In today’s episode, we mentioned the following sites/links/resources:

Designed to STEAM Online Class

Summer Arts Integration and STEAM Online Conference

The RISD STEM to STEAM initiative is a collaborative site between 8 colleges/universities

STEAM Insight from Kim Richards

STEAMConnect Initiative

STEAM Portal 

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan