The STEAM Lab@TISA is a collaboration that took place in 2016-2019 with the Taos Integrated School of the Arts in Taos, New Mexico to design and coordinate programming and curriculum integration for an innovative new STEAM Lab. The STEAM Lab@TISA is designed to support and engage TISA’s teachers and culturally diverse students in grades K–8 with age appropriate workshops, activities and technology that combine Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art (STEAM) for Social Practice. Students participate in local, national, and international design projects through interdisciplinary collaborations.
TISA Offers Unique Opportunity for Taos Youth
Working in partnership with TISA’s Arts Curriculum Coordinator, Megan Avina Bowers and with the full support of School Director, Richard Greywolf, TISA was the first school to implement the STEMarts methodology as a school-wide initiative with classroom teachers fully invested in daily curriculum integration of STEAM initiatives. The STEMarts method builds on eight years of successful STEM+art curriculum design and will be a unique opportunity for participating students and parents. As part of our 2017 programming TISA’s STEAM Lab launched a pilot collaboration with QuarkNet@UNM and ATLAS Experiment at CERN to introduce advanced concepts in particle physics to elementary grade students through sci-art projects. The STEAM Lab@TISA is an innovative school model designed for students living in the rural community of Taos to access cutting edge art, science and technology and 21st century design thinking.
The STEMarts Model
The STEMarts Model is based on carefully designed media-rich workshops, hands-on demos or community interventions built on instruction with four design pillars that revolve around the core principle that all content must make a connection to self-reflection, society and our place in the universe as a whole. The leading innovation is the foundational principle that authentic and meaningful integration of science and art as social practice results in deeper learning, greater student engagement by students in both science and art, and the creative application of science and technology in their lives and in their communities. Activities are always ‘maker focusedʼ and revolve around project-based design challenges delivered by artists, scientists or interdisciplinary guests in collaboration with classroom teachers. Building from this unique starting point, the instructional design model intentionally connects the STEMarts Learning Model’s four pillars of instructional design to key activities and tools in order to impact student learning and attitudes.
- New Media Arts and Social Practice. Students engage with this new art genre that focuses on social engagement, inviting collaboration with individuals, communities, and institutions in the creation of participatory art. Students explore art as process and ‘way of knowing’ in correlation to the scientific way of knowing. We explore the latest digital ‘maker’ tools to engage and inspire art making with purpose.
- Complex Science concepts. Through virtual and real collaboration with interdisciplinary experts and creative applications, students explore complex science concepts. The goal is to a) expand students’ understanding of who we are, where we come from and our place in the universe, in what is now called the Golden Age of Cosmology and b) demonstrate the personal, social and global impact of science applications on their lives, while empowering them to be global citizens and caretakers of the planet.
- 21st Century Skills and Technology. Students learn to harness their creativity and develop critical thinking and innovation skills around interdisciplinary topics of interest. Through this process they get access to cutting edge technologies that peak their curiosity and blur the boundaries between science and art. Students learn valuable new tools that build job skills for the global workforce. Activities are aligned with Partnership for 21st Century Standards (P21).
- Real World Application and Collaboration. The work created through the program always has a connection to a real event in the local/global community. Students experience real world learning and community activism through participation in art and science festivals and local/global events; real and virtual.
- Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
The STEMarts Curriculum is aligned with The Next Generation Science Standards which include four core ideas in the physical sciences: PS1: Matter and Its Interactions, PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions, PS3: Energy. PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer—which introduces students to the ways in which advances in the physical sciences during the 20th century underlie all sophisticated technologies available today. In addition they include a framework that relate science, technology, society and the environment: the interdependence of science, engineering and technology, and the influence of science, engineering and technology on society and the natural world.
- National Core Art Standards (NCAS)
Inspired by the 1997 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Arts Education Assessment Framework, the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) are based on the artistic processes of: Creating, Performing/Producing, Presenting, Responding, Connecting. Each of the arts disciplines incorporates these processes in some manner. These processes define and organize the link between the art and the learner. The philosophical foundation and lifelong goals establish the basis for the new standards and illuminate artistic literacy by expressing the overarching common values and expectations for learning in arts education across the five disciplines