What is STEAM

What is STEAM

STEAM, the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, aims to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with the Arts as a means of enhancing the learning experience while demonstrating how all things are connected to each other. This style of learning – and teaching – allows students to experience science rather than simply study its concepts. Students gain a better understanding of how core concepts relate to each other in real life.

Within this context, the Arts are a more natural fit than one might be inclined to think. The Arts play an important role in every student’s formation regardless of their ultimate field of study.

STEAM and the New York Film Academy

The New York Film Academy’s STEAM Education Initiatives Program is the place where creativity meets the structure associated with scientific projects

How do the visual and performance arts and design programs offered at the New York Film Academy fit into the picture?

The Academy’s philosophy mirrors the central theme of STEAM: learning by doing; not just doing single, specific tasks, but by being engaged in every part of a project. In this regard, the New York Film Academy and STEAM are a natural fit for one another.

No matter how different, all of the programs at the Academy have one common core value: communication and storytelling. Students learn to be masters of communication and storytelling regardless of the medium. This concept is an important one for STEAM because storytelling is a fundamental contributor to better understanding and retaining information.

What contribution does it make to students’ skill set?

Working in close contact with STEM professionals conducting live research enables students to develop skills that would otherwise be overlooked. They’re confronted with scientific methodologies that allow them to expand their knowledge base not only on a theoretical level but on a practical one. Specifically, students develop skills in engineering design and problem solving, the scientific method, and the science regarding the subject of the project.

  • Engineering design and problem solving have real world, practical uses for students. A great example of this is the collaboration between the Academy and California Southern University where students launched meteorological weather balloons, which contained sensitive scientific instruments and cameras. Students were asked to figure out how to launch the balloons, design a safe container for the equipment, and have them land safely.
  • The scientific method is something students of the arts are not confronted with very often. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be a useful skill within their field of study. The formulating of hypotheses and learning through observation leads to better understanding the world we live in, which is what the arts aim to communicate through different mediums.
  • Good storytelling requires comprehensive knowledge about every aspect of the story. When students are creating PSA’s, short documentaries, and animation for STEM projects they have to learn the science behind the story. When the Academy partnered with Caltech to create footage that explained the path of an L-Class sub-brown dwarf star, students had to understand and learn what L-Class sub-brown dwarf stars are, why they’re important, and what their relation is to the universe. This understanding enabled them to create animation that clearly explained this story.
Unlike all the other art forms, film is able to seize and render the passage of time, to stop it, almost to possess it in infinity. I'd say that film is the sculpting of time.
-Andrei Tarkovsky