Full STEAM Ahead

Imagine stomping rhinos, delicate lady bugs, leaping kangaroos, and tiny frogs all making their way a nearby water hole. Now imagine that those creatures are actually kindergartners, using dramatic imaginative play to learn about measurement, math, and distance.

What may sound like utter chaos is actually the scene described by The Washington Post’s Moriah Balingit, who visited a school in Falls Church, Virginia, where artists and teachers are teaming up to blend art and math to make learning more engaging. This “art integration” allows teachers to bring creativity into the classroom without separating it as a stand-alone subject that might compete with common core (or other) requirements. 

Multiply that success

Good news, middle schoolers! Art integration isn’t just for kindergartners. According to Balingit, “middle-school students in Arlington have built sculptures to learn about exponents, and students have used art to express their thoughts and opinions about police brutality and racial equality.”

It all adds up

And even better news? The program seems to work. An independent evaluation found that students in classrooms where teachers had learned how to integrate art into math lessons demonstrated a better grasp of the material than their peers in classrooms where the teachers had not encountered such training.

Read more about the research, the importance of strong professional development opportunities for teachers, and just enjoy this feel-good story about a program that’s working to get students a step ahead via The Washington Post.