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Arts|Learning is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network
--a consortium of 35 state alliances across the United States dedicated to arts advocacy and quality arts education for the nation's children.
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Today's focus in Part IV of our five-day series is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to STEAM
(adding the Arts) movement.

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America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future and is tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - the STEM subjects. Even with an increased emphasis on STEM education, less students are expressing an interest in choosing these fields for a career.  Yet consider this: according to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 5% of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to science and engineering, yet they are responsible for more than 50% of our sustained economic expansion! 


The arts--Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts--are uniquely poised to transform STEM education and our economy in the 21st century:

  • The arts create active entry points to engage STEM learners through kinesthetic, auditory, visual, and analytic modes 
  • Arts education is a key to creativity   
  • Creativity is an essential kick-start for innovation 
  • Innovation creates new industries in the future 
  • New industries develop more jobs, the basis of our future economic well being

A win-win situation -- low cost -- job growth and insuring the future!  If we do not make these connections, Arts education will continue to be virtually extinct in our schools - and the US's economic future will be compromised.  See the "STEAM NOT STEM" website for more information. 

AFTA Promotes STEAM Caucus in US Congress
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional  STEAM Caucus, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

The Caucus aims "to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences-and their intersections-to our country's future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs."

Fill out this form at Americans for the Arts ACTION Fund to encourage your US Representative to join the Bipartisan STEAM Caucus. The Caucus now has more than 50 reps signed on! Thank you for taking two minutes to send this message!

Sign this petition in support of House Resolution 51, promoting STEAM.
Arts|Learning has been engaged in a series of activities supporting STEAM education in MA:
  • Executive Director Jonathan Rappaport served on the MA STEM Plan 2.0, just released in November, 2013.  Check out Diversity in STEM Instructional Strategies on pages 16-17 of the PDF which focus on arts-integration practices.
  • A|L organized a session, "Putting Some STEAM in STEM," at the annual MA Association of School Committees and School Superintendents conference on November 6 featuring Jane Burke, Charles Combs, Diane Daily, & Jonathan Rappaport, presented to a packed audience!
  • The MA legislature is considering H. 2994 to form a commission to formally change STEM to STEAM.  A|L participated in a stellar panel testifying on this subject to the Joint Committee on Education on Oct 31. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Kay Khan and Sarah K. Peake.  Please contact your MA house member and urge them to support this bill!
  • Arts|Learning will be having its May, 2014 symposium focused on STEAM education.  Working title is Making Learning Accessible: Integrating Arts & STEM. We will soon confirm date and location of this important convening.  Stay Tuned! 
  • The City of Worcester MA is one of three cities across the US participating in a National Science Foundation grant and project creating cutting-edge curricula in STEAM education.  The MA project is called "The Art of Science Learning" and will focus on transportation issues. Jonathan Rappaport is serving on the Advisory Board. 
These STEAM activities advanced by Arts|Learning helps all students, promotes arts education, and supports arts educators in their daily work.  However, such activism on our part takes considerable staff time and resources, much of which is not supported by grants.  This is where YOU come in!

Won't you lend a helping hand?  A year's membership in A|L is only $30.  If 500 people joined in this effort by becoming members, we would be able to raise $15,000 to help support extremely important initiatives such as STEM to STEAM.  Everyone chipping in makes a HUGE difference.  Please contribute today, and receive the extra bonus of obtaining a tax deduction for 2013!

To contribute online via credit card, please click here.
To contribute by check, please download our donor form.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated!