Full STEAM ahead

To'hajiilee camp integrates art into STEM education

By Colleen Keane
Special to the Times

ALBUQUERQUE, June 19, 2014

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(Special to the Times – Colleen Keane)

TOP: From left to right, Shyniah Chapo, Desiderya Costello and Antonio Larez test the triggers on the To'hajiilee STEAM machine before a test run.

BOTTOM: Adding art into the design, a doll on a horse crowns the first leg of the STEAM machine beginning the story of To'hajiilee that the students tell through the machine.

For To'hajiilee Community School students it's not STEM – it's STEAM.

It became STEAM when the students included art in science, technology engineering and mathematics education. The students learned the difference between STEM and STEAM at an academic camp held last week as they built a one-of-a-kind chain-reaction machine that also told a story about their community.

Putting art into STEM education is the key to making American students globally competitive, according to Shawn Jordan, an Arizona State University professor, who was part of the STEAM academic team.

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