STEAM learning supplants the old but relevant student question, “Why are we doing this?”

Our Impact through STEAM

Pretty Brainy is a STEAM learning organization. A May 2016 survey of students about our service learning program in code, technology, and design, Textiles + TechStyles™, shows this impact:

  • 92% of girls say, “With regard to science and technology, this workshop has increased my interest.” The other 8% say the workshop maintained their interest in science and tech.
  • 100% of Pretty Brainy students agree or strongly agree, “This workshop has increased my interest in innovation and design.”
  • 100% agree or strongly agree, “I like working with the mentors.”

By Contrast. A survey of American teens published in June 2016 from the Amgen Foundation and Change the Equation shows that, nationwide, teens “lack access to real-world science experiences, out of school opportunities, and professional mentors,” without which their opportunities are limited.

Pretty Brainy Students are active learners invested with the opportunity to exercise their voice, create, be respected as citizens who will make a positive difference, and enjoy the latitude to experiment, prototype, revise, pivot, and try again.

Pretty Brainy Embraces STEAM Learning for Its Power to —

Intensify students’ experience of learning, including why and how they learn.

Blend disciplines, as they are applied and experienced in the world beyond school.

Facilitate critical thinking. This includes students thinking about their thinking, assessing assumptions, learning how to form questions, and developing the ability to analyze ideas and projects, including their own.

Cultivate innovation in service to community.

Prepare students to contribute to the problem-solving and decision-making required of professionals in the 21st century.

Foster students’ ownership of their work and its outcomes.

Pretty Brainy Students learn by doing and benefit from real-world experiences that reveal how STEAM can address everyday human needs.

STEAM and 21st Century Learning


Is “an education in getting your hands dirty, in understanding why you made what you made, and owning the impact of that work in the world. It’s what artists and designers do.”
— John Maeda, former president, Rhode Island School of Design

Recognizes “art and design as the ‘secret sauce’ in multiple fields, engaging with creative exploration to reach greater potential — the potential that will help to define advancements in the twenty-first century.”
— Rosanne Somerson, furniture maker, designer, and president, Rhode Island School of Design

STEAM Is a National Initiative

Learn the origins of STEAM and how it is embraced by professionals, policy makers, and educators worldwide.