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STEAM: integrating the Arts with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in higher education

Scene showing scientific equipment and plants
Scene showing scientific equipment and plants
Innovation Science Installation by Angela Mathis MA Material Futures CSM © John Sturrock
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
04 March 2020

Programme leaders from UAL’s Central Saint Martins (CSM) MA Art and Science are contributing to a new research project that will support approaches aligning studies of the Arts alongside STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in higher education - to unlock greater potential in thinking that drives prosperity and innovation.

STEAM thinking expands on the traditional STEM approach to incorporate the additional benefits that artistic practice can provide.

Approaches that favour clear application of creativity and imagination, in combination with more typically understood STEM skills such as numeracy and analysis, are considered to be routes to deeper insight and more transformative innovation.

STEAM INC sets out to tackle the current lack of a comprehensive scheme to identify the effectiveness of STEAM approaches in higher education. The project brings together 6 European higher education partners currently delivering innovative STEAM approaches, with Ars Electronica, Austria, a world-renowned platform for art, technology and society, where STEAM frameworks can be tested.

Nathan Cohen, Course Leader MA Art and Science, Central Saint Martins:

CSM is playing a key role in the new Erasmus+ STEAM research over the next 3 years to explore how the relationships between the Arts and STEM subjects are pedagogically, creatively and intellectually engaging.

We’re working with colleagues from around Europe to investigate ways for developing curricula in higher education that benefit from the interrelationships enabled by transdisciplinary thinking, and to demonstrate that this encourages innovation and learning in ways that embrace all the subjects that collectively contribute to a STEAM learning and research environment.

We look forward to working with UAL students and staff to progress this work in ways that are inclusive and dynamically supportive for education internationally.

The project partners are: Birmingham City University, UK (lead partner), Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL), UK, Trinity College, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, Aalto University, Finland, Amsterdam University, The Netherlands, Dresden Technical University, Germany and Ars Electronica, Austria.

Funded under Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships, this 3 year, holistic, collaborative and integrative project offers an innovative and cohesive way to investigate current STEAM methodologies, and further integrate them into the higher education curriculum.

Find out more

Visit the STEAM INC project page

Read about the MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins