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STEAM fields is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The initiative began to include arts and design in STEM fields education.
STEM programs are designed to integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the classroom. STEM programs aim to teach students to think critically and have an engineering or design approach towards real-world problems while building on their math and science base. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions. 
One early founder of the STEAM initiative is Georgette Yakman, who in addition to raising the idea of adding the arts to the STEM acronym, claims to have found a formal way to link the subjects together and correspond them to the global socioeconomic world. Her defining sentence is: "Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in elements of Mathematics" - (C/TM 2007). She provides professional development training to individual educators and programs on how to use the STEAM framework. In 2009, Senator Mark Warner announced Yakman's nomination as NCTC’s STEM Teacher of the Year 2009.  
- Sesame Street's 43 season continues to focus on STEM, but finds ways to integrate arts. They state: "This helps make learning STEM concepts relevant and enticing to young children by highlighting how artists use STEM knowledge to enhance their art or solve problems. It also provides context for the importance of STEM knowledge in careers in the arts (e.g. musician, painter, sculptor and dancer)." 
- The Rhode Island School of Design has a STEM to STEAM program and maintains an interactive map that shows global STEAM initiatives. STEAM organizations are able to add themselves to the map. John Maeda, president of Rhode Island School of Design, has been a leader in bringing the initiative to the political forums of educational policy.
- Sara Kapadia has organized a STEAM Journal.
- Wolf Trap's Institute of Education as part of a $1.5 million Department of Education grant trains and places teaching arts into 4-K classrooms. The artists collaborate with the teachers to integrate math and science with the arts. Wolf Trap's senior director of education, Akua Kouyate, states: “Part of what the arts certainly provides is the creativity and innovation, which is really fundamental in how many other countries are looking at success.. how we want to measure success is in terms of how to be creative, how to be innovative – the arts bring that specifically into the learning experience.” 
In the News
In July, 2012 PBS News Hour published a case study about the benefits of STEAM education. The cite a study by the National Endowment for the Arts that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds were more likely to aspire to college and scored better in science and writing when they actively participated in the arts. 
In November of 2014, EdWeek published an article debating if and how the arts can be integrated into a STEM curriculum. 
- "H. RES. 51 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States." (PDF). 113th Congress, 2013–2015. 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- Jolly, Anne. "STEM vs. STEAM: Do the Arts Belong?". EdWeek.org. Education Week: Teacher. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "About Us". STEAM edu. STEAM Edu. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "Georgette Yakman". Academia.edu. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Maeda, John. "STEM to STEAM: Art in K-12 Is Key to Building a Strong Economy". Edutopia. Edutopia.
- "STEM + A = STEAM: When art meets science, technology, engineering and math". Sesameworkshop.org. Sesame Workshop. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- "STEM Vs. STEAM". University of Florida, Online Master of Arts in Art Education. University of Florida. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- Chen, Kelly; Cheers, Imani. "STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education". PBS News Hour. PBS. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- STEAM: A Framework for Teaching Across the Disciplines
- STEM to STEAM
- STEAM Connect
- Steam Not Stem | Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics
- STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education
- The Arts Are Not a Luxury
- Exploring STEM through new media arts and events
- ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness: Special Media-N edition
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