STEM + Art and Design = STEAM

STEAM in education supplants the old but relevant question students ask, “Why are we doing this?”

STEAM 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 Education and Pretty Brainy

Pretty Brainy gives girls this challenge, “With art + design as your tool, how will you make the world a better place?”

Picture the following —

  • Learning that respects girls as problem-solvers, thinkers, leaders, and innovators.
  • Girls learning while making life better for others and taking on projects with real-world implications and outcomes.
  • Innovation and creativity in education, where girls apply engineering, math, science, and technology with art + design in contexts they love.
  • STEAM and education grounded in the value girls place on philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism.

The results of these actions and more? Learning, inspiration, community, and a 21st century foundation for the many entry points at which girls and women enter STEAM and STEM studies and careers.

Girls in Pretty Brainy 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.

STEAM 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

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

STEAM Is a National Initiative

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