What are the markers of a successful STEAM program? How and when can educators be reasonably sure that an interdisciplinary unit or project, rich in both the sciences and the arts, has delivered on its implicit promise – by adding value to a student’s education in ways that are beyond the scope of traditional discipline-specific learning? I attempt to address this question with a case study of Theatre of Will’s “Save It Now,” a pilot program for 4th, 5th and 6th graders at eight Los Angeles public schools that integrates theater arts, music and the STEM disciplines in a 9-week unit on energy, water and climate change. I am one of the program’s four teaching artists. My goal here is not to convince readers that “Save it Now” is successful, but rather to propose a theoretical framework for understanding, categorizing and evaluating STEAM programs in general.


Author/Artist Bio

Christopher D. Davidson is a teaching artist at Theatre of Will and an adjunct professor of Sociology at Southern New Hampshire University. Willard Simms is the founder and President of Theatre of Will, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the integration of arts and class room education. Through the creative utilization of theater, music, and the visual arts - Theatre of Will creates STEAM Residencies and also Science/History Assemblies that supplement Los Angeles Unified School District core curriculum and match Next Generation Sciense Standards. Several STEAM Residencies are currently scheduled for the 2017-18 LAUSD school year.

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