From STEM to STEAM: Using Brain-Compatible Strategies to Integrate the Arts

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Build the skills mathematicians and scientists need!

A is for arts—and for the advantage students gain when you integrate arts into STEM instruction. As research in neuroscience shows, arts activities enhance creativity, problem solving, memory systems, and analytical skills—all critical for achieving STEM success. Now best-selling author David Sousa teams up with veteran arts educator Tom Pilecki to bring you:

  • Teacher-tested techniques for fitting the arts into STEM classrooms
  • Sample lesson plans across K-12
  • A worksheet template for designing your own integrated lessons
  • Tips for managing time and collaborating

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Editorial Reviews

Sister Carol Cimino
“I found Sousa's and Pilecki's book to be a practical how-to on integrating the arts, both visual and performance, into the current trend in education to accentuate the teaching of science, technology and mathematics. All in all, this practical book melds the arts with the sciences and that might just make more educators look at the teaching and implementing of arts programs with a more favorable eye."
Melanie Sitzer Hedges
"This book should be a required reading for all teachers! Thisbook is completely informative with a practical and authentic approach to changing STEM to STEAM as Arts Integration. The authors, David A. Sousa and Tomas J. Pilecki were brilliant in their analyses of why, what, and how Arts Integrations works without a doubt. I would highly recommend thisbook to my peers and administration because I found deep connections of arts integration which fostered interdisciplinary connections throughout the curriculum. Students would learn and remember what they learned because critical thinking rounded the learning experience for the whole child in a holistic direction."
Renee Peoples
"David Sousa's new book is more than hot; it is STEAMing! It is crammed full of suggestions to integrate arts into every STEM curricula at all grade levels to increase student learning. The research-based suggestions for strategies to engage students and deepen the level of thinking are abundantly supported with ideas for PLCs and a plethora of resources. Every teacher who is ready to update their pedagogy and make their teaching red hot needs this is the book!"
Debra K. Las
"STEM without creativity in application is stagnant. Brain research shows that we must rethink methodology in STEM education if we are to produce not only talented professionals, but also enriched members of society. From STEM to STEAM is a start in that direction."
Darleen Horton
"From STEM to STEAM is a game changer for educators who are serious about bringing excellence back into the classroom. It crosses ages, stages and curriculum development through research and practical application."
Susan Lee Pasquarelli
“Imagine classrooms of children imitating the “ways of knowing” experienced by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. In From STEM to STEAM, authors Sousa and Pilecki not only persuade us to integrate ARTS into the K-12 curriculum, they also remind us of the value of a classical education- an education that reveals how all knowledge is interrelated. In this timely book, the authors entice K-12 educators to transform their classrooms into centers of arts and science inquiry; and, in a rather credible manner, provide step-by-step guidelines for engaging K-12 learners in a rich interdisciplinary curriculum of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics."
Kate Arrizza
“If STEAM is something you are not familiar with, this book is a must-read. This book has given me information on the research and proved why STEAM was important; it is also something I can now add to grant applications for supporting documentation. I gave the activities to our staff of Science Educators and they loved not only how each activity was explained, but the breakdown of all the objectives for the activity. In my 15 years in Education, I have never read a book that made sense of why STEAM is so critical to our society.

I truly believe that this book will help my Education staff make stronger more substantial programming throughout our museum. I am recommending this book to every Science Center I know. This book provides an innovative approach to a crucial subject that our country needs to buy into for a prosperous future.”

Sister - Carol Cimino
“I found Sousa's and Pilecki's book to be a practical how-to on integrating the arts, both visual and performance, into the current trend in education to accentuate the teaching of science, technology and mathematics. All in all, this practical book melds the arts with the sciences and that might just make more educators look at the teaching and implementing of arts programs with a more favorable eye. "
Randy Cohen
”David Sousa and Tom Pilecki paint a compelling picture of how integration of the arts into education not only improves academic performance by our students, but also strengthens the nation’s workforce and better positions the U.S. in the global economy. Built on a rich foundation of research, the authors link the big ideas of education reform to classroom-tested teaching strategies. As America grapples with how to educate young people in the third millennium, From STEM to STEAM is a must read for educators, policy makers, and community leaders alike.”
Judy Nee
"The book discusses one of the most critical issues in education today – using creativity and inquiry to inspire and engage students. STEAM is by its nature collaborative and creative – blending the arts and sciences – which is exactly what 21st century students are being expected to do. The authors present a thoughtful, real-life approach to concepts, lessons and activities that can be used in and out of the formal classroom environment. A must-read for any educator or youth development professional. "
Edward L. Abeyta
"This book is a must read for educators, policy makers, and industry leaders addressing how to develop an innovative workforce for the future.Sousa and Pilecki have successfully outlined a pragmatic approach to empower teachers with the ability to integrate the arts into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) discipline areas. This sets the stage for a national conversation to move from STEM to STEAM."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452258331
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 233,919
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. David A. Sousa is an international consultant in educational neuroscience and author of 15 books that suggest ways that educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies for improving learning. A member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, he has conducted workshops in hundreds of school districts on brain research, instructional skills, and science education at the Pre-K to 12 and university levels. He has made presentations to more than 100,000 educators at national conventions of educational organizations and to regional and local school districts across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

Dr. Sousa has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bridgewater State University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in science from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Rutgers University. His teaching experience covers all levels. He has taught senior high school science, served as a K-12 director of science, a supervisor of instruction, and a district superintendent in New Jersey schools. He has been an adjunct professor of education at Seton Hall University and a visiting lecturer at Rutgers University.

Prior to his career in New Jersey, Dr. Sousa taught at the American School of Paris (France), and served for five years as a Foreign Service Officer and science advisor at the USA diplomatic missions in Geneva (Switzerland) and Vienna (Austria).

Dr. Sousa has edited science books and published dozens of articles in leading journals on staff development, science education, and educational research. His most popular books for educators, all published by Corwin Press, include: How the Brain Learns, fourth edition; How the Special Needs Brain Learns, second edition; How the Gifted Brain Learns; How the Brain Learns to Read; How the Brain Influences Behavior; and How the Brain Learns Mathematics, which was selected by the Independent Publishers’ Association as one of the best professional development books of 2008. The Leadership Brain suggests ways for educators to lead today’s schools more effectively. His books have been published in French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and several other languages.

Dr. Sousa is past president of Learning Forward (formerly NSCD). He has received numerous awards from professional associations, school districts, and educational foundations for his commitment to research, staff development, and science education. He recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary doctorate from Bridgewater (Massachusetts) State University, and an honorary doctorate from Gratz College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sousa has been interviewed by Matt Lauer on the NBC Today Show and by National Public Radio about his work with schools using brain research. He makes his home in south Florida.

Tom Pilecki, MA, is the former executive director of the Center for Creative Education (CCE) in West Palm Beach, Florida, where, for twelve years, he provided professional development to over one hundred teaching artists, preparing them to teach collaboratively with elementary and middle school teachers in all curriculum content areas. With an MA in educational administration, Tom is a former elementary school teacher as well as a choral and instrumental music teacher. His forty-plus years in education include being founder and principal of St. Augustine School of the Arts in the South Bronx, New York, the subject of the Sundance Film Festival Award-Winning documentary Something Within Me as well as feature segments on 60 Minutes, World News Tonight, and The Mc Neil-Lehrer Report. His expertise in curriculum writing, implementation, and arts integration brought him to Chicago as curriculum director for six West Side schools before going to Florida. He continues to consult with schools and communities on a national basis.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. Why STEM Should Become STEAM
2. What Science Says About the Arts and Creativity
3. Frequently Asked Questions About Integrating the Arts and STEM
4. Implementing Arts Integration in the Primary Grades (K-4)
5. Implementing Arts Integration in the Intermediate Grades (5-8)
6. Implementing Arts Integration in the High School Grades (9-12)
7. STEAM Lesson Plan Appetizers in Science, Technology, and Engineering
8. STEAM Lesson Plan Appetizers in Mathematics
9. Putting It All Together

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