Tag Archives: Rhode Island School of Design

Friday Special Post: Part 3 STEM to STEAM, Ties to CCSS

Many websites claim STEAM picked up speed recently, however, as with anything connected to CCSS, there's more to the story.
Many websites claim STEAM picked up speed recently, however, as with anything connected to CCSS, there’s more to the story.

For the final installment of the STEM to STEAM, Ties to Common Core article, we’ll look at just how far back this all started and contrast it with the headlines of our modern education reform.

If you click on the above graphic, how many of you will be able to spot the 16 Career Clusters that are the fiber of Career and Technical  Education? This is just one of the ways CCSS is interwoven into STEM and now STEAM. In the past two portions of this special report for your battle against CCSS, you’ve been provided with FACTS, not fallacies about STEM, STEAM, and Common Core. Make no mistake, those seeking to overall education in America, have wasted no time, energy, or resource to do it. That we, the warriors, are finding the evidence to expose the overreach, is worth sharing. It is only then that we can fight this battle with TRUTH, not assumptions. We’ll pick our STEM to STEAM report up with where I left you yesterday: that the STEAM movement isn’t new at all.

Travel Back to 2010:

If you recall that PCAST report featured in Part 1 also had a 2010 publication date. In Part 2, we saw that 2014 was a year for the STEM to STEAM movement to be announced. So, what happened in between the PCAST (STEM is embedded into CCSS) and the Washington, D.C. briefing you saw in Part 2?

From a June 2010 “Arts and Education” presentation, given by private businessman (Harvey P. White), the following summary was shared on slide #12 of his Power Point Presentation. (*Note: Mr. White was not an educator):
“We all agree that the USA must innovate to remain one of the world’s leading economies. We must equip ourselves with the best and most complete set of skills to be competitive. A continued high degree of competency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is an essential element of such a set of skills. We will find increasing competition in this arena and we need to reinstate a level of creativity to augment this technical competency that has been lost by budget concerns. We need to create a national understanding this loss will become a huge economic mistake, especially as our ability to compete in the manufacturing and many service sectors declines. We must lead the effort to make sure there is an understanding that including the Arts in the curricula of all schools at all levels in not just a nice thing to do but an economic necessity. For the future of our nation and to maintain the prosperity and current life style for the generations to follow us we need to act now.”  Who is Mr. Harvey P. White? Great question. He’s a CEO of a corporation named (SHW)2 Enterprises. If that doesn’t ring a bell, that’s okay, I didn’t recognize it either. However, what you need to know is it’s an independent business consulting firm. Mr. White also serves on several technology company boards, helps digital technology start ups, and more. To see his biography, http://steam-notstem.com/about/biography/
(*Note: when you read Mr. White’s bio, be sure to notice the comment section. Note the number of pro STEM to STEAM efforts, the pro CCSS groups, and the dates of publication.)
I encourage you to see his entire presentation. In it you’ll find many more politically driven agenda points about education reform. See: Arts-and-Education-FULL-WEBINAR

In 2011, A Congressional Resolution: 

While not successful in passing, the U.S.Congress did entertain a STEM to STEAM resolution. June 21st, H. Resolution 319. The Rhode Island School of Design worked with the Congress member on this resolution. (more about them in a bit) See: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hres319/text
(*Note: be sure to note where art was to be inserted into STEM..via the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)


In 2012, A Revelation Appears:

A report prepared for Congress details STEM funding. It’s an in-depth analysis. In the introductory pages you’ll read how Congress has been interested in STEM since the very first Congress; how vital STEM is to our workforce. Sounds familiar, right? Well, here’s a new one for you. In this report, we need STEM so our national security can remain instrumental. You’ll also learn that because STEM is such a key to the nation, it’s now a priority. So much so, that billions of dollars have been devoted to it. Over 250 STEM or STEM related entities spread across 13 different federal agencies. Of those 13, 3 share the bulk of STEM items. (The U.S. Dept. of Ed, the Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation). This report will detail how and where funding for anything STEM related has been inserted. See: STEManalysis

In 2013, A New Resolve:

Not content to let STEM or the insertion of the Arts into the aligned mix, a new resolution was introduced in Congress. Be sure to note which Congress members were involved this time. The name of one of them was featured in the You Tube video provided in Part 2 of this series. Compare this Resolution H 51 to the H319. What differences do you see?
Refer to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.RES.51: Involved again in this new effort? The Rhode Island School of Design. While the Rhode Island School of Design is credited with championing The STEM to STEAM Initiative, they aren’t the creators of STEAM. (Here’s an excerpt from their website:
“STEM to STEAM is a RISD-led initiative to add Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research in America. STEM + Art = STEAM. The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” Contrast that with the STEM to STEAM Caucus (created in 2013) See: http://stemtosteam.org/events/congressional-steam-caucus/

A Step Back to the STEAM’s Beginning:

So, we know STEM has been around a long time. We know the NSF has the bulk of control and power in anything STEM related.  We know the modern push to embed STEM into our daily lives was found in that 2010 document from Part 1 of this series. We’ve been able to connect everything back to Common Core EXCEPT STEAM, or have we? So far, we’ve not known much about its origin. Allow me to introduce a much celebrated educator who is receiving credit for STEAM’s inception.

A lady by the name of Georgette Yakman is receiving credit for her educational framework. That’s her brightly colored triangle you see above. Ms. Yakman’s research took place at Virginia Tech. Her STEAM framework was implemented in 2007. In 2013, she wrote a paper and published which directly ties STEAM to Common Core. In the paper, a PreK to grad school (aka: P20) STEAM plan is laid out. Here’s an excerpt, “STEAM is proving successful in schools all around the world to better teach academic and life skills in a standards-backed, realistic-based, personally relevant exploratory learning environment. It is adaptable, strong, benchmarked, measurable, and reinforces NCLB and state standards and integrates with the Common Core in unique and engaging ways.”  You’ll find out even more when you read the rest of her paper.
See: http://steam-notstem.com/about/biography/
(*Note: STEAM was introduced in S.Korea due to the similarities between the US and itself in education, economy, and skilled workforce. See below for a connection you knew would pop up sooner or later.)


To access the study for STEAM in S. Korea, visit:

Related Resources:
A short 2014 clip about STEAM from a U.S. Congress member speaking to guests of Qualcomm and others (Qualcomm is connected to Mr. White, the same man from the beginning of this 3rd portion)

A promoter of STEAM, the “Right Brain Initiative” also is tied to Common Core (there are many, many others as well. The reason I point you to this one is it is one of the promoters not only tied to CCSS, but to P21 (The Partnership for 21st Century Skills).

I found the above (and some of the other information in this portion of the article) on http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/04/24/steam-3d-printing/


I’d like to thank you for hanging with me through all the twists and turns this 3 part expose has taken us. There is much within these 3 portions to use in learning more about the ties between STEM, STEAM, and Common Core. There is much to share, especially with our legislators at the state level. If you’re desiring an education without CCSS involved, you now know to look at state funding for STEM, STEAM items. You can connect the dots in line item budgets. Ridding ourselves of Common Core means we must address ALL the places it is hiding. I hope you’ve found all this information to be helpful.

Tech Thursday: Pt. 2 STEM to STEaM’s Ties to Common Core

Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related.
Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related.

Welcome back, anti CCSS Warriors, for Part 2 of my “STEM to STEaM: Ties to CCSS” article. In yesterday’s portion, you got the basic foundation of how STEM and Common Core became united. Today, we’ll dive into the “STEaM” portion of the mix. If you recall, we were using the analogy of a vehicle (CCSS), a driver (STEM), and the gas (STEaM) in our ‘engine’ yesterday. I’d like to continue to use that analogy.

The Gas,  “STEaM”:

In closing yesterday’s article,  I left you with the concept that no overreach from the federal level of government into education is proper. In order for the current p3 led overreach (aka: ‘Common Core’) to succeed, it’s going to need a lot of fuel..a propellant of sorts to keep the momentum up. While we’ve seen some of those new propellants pop us (Next Gen Science, C3 Civics, and others), none is as welcome (or needed) for STEM to carry on it’s ‘STEM citizenry’ than ‘STEaM’. As I shared yesterday, ‘STEaM’ is “Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math”. The CCSS Machine has even cranked out a catchy phrase for the ‘gas’. “STEM to STEaM”. Who’s on board? Ahh…we’ll soon find out.

More STEaM, Less Americana:

Using the same PCAST Sept. 2010 Report from yesterday’s portion in this series, take a minute to look back at the 5 main agenda points. Using those 5 points, STEaM is the newest angle in the ‘national standards’ movement in American education. In our recent past, there’s been a “STEM to STEaM” movement which has involved not only a post-secondary school acting as headquarters for the movement, but U.S. Congress members, corporations, and elementary, secondary schools chiming in as well. Caucuses have formed in Washington, D.C. to seek federal funding for this newest ‘college and career readiness’ power. The post-secondary school wasting no time in being a cheerleader for the nation about “STEM to STEaM? Rhode Island’s School of Design.
( see: http://stemtosteam.org/about/ ) *Note: when I first learned about STEM to STEaM, it was spelled as I’ve been spelling it: where only the “a” is lower case, however, it appears that even that has been changed so that all the letters are now upper case. I’ll do my best to reflect this makeover from here forward.

According to “STEAM’s” website, our 21st century economy depends on it (Steam, that is).
Here’s their description, “In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We need to add Art + Design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM. STEM + Art = STEAM STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals. The objectives of the STEAM movement are to: transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM; encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education; and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.”

Pause here for a moment and ponder how this fits with those 5 main agenda points in STEM. Refer back to the pages around 12 in the PCAST Report where it’s revealed that in order for the 5 agenda items to thrive, the need to embed them in Common Core had to be met. Now, let’s proceed, shall we?

June 2014:

For the STEAM folks, this is an important month. Why? It was in this month that a group from the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) went to Washington, D.C. for a Congressional event. Two days of “music in the 21st Century STEaM education” was held. As per the press release, 63 Congressional members were ‘on board’ with the concept. The goal? A better prepared 21st Century workforce population. Here’s the excerpt:
“Supported by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR) and Congressman Aaron Schock (IL), since its creation in 2013, the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus has grown to include 63 members of Congress. The STEAM movement focuses on the inclusion of the arts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curricula, as the arts play a unique and critical role in helping students develop the kind of innovative and creative skills that they will need to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.” This was followed by NAfME’s purpose for being involved, “NAfME’s objective for the briefing is to explore the role of music in STEAM curricula, and to discuss how music helps students develop the workforce skills they will need to succeed after completing their studies.” To see the entire press release, http://www.nafme.org/press-release-nafme-congressional-briefing-explore-the-role-of-music-in-a-21st-century-steam-education/

Here’s a You Tube video of one of the NAfME’s Congressional Briefings. It’s from 2014. It is related to the press release above. Why I’m including it is due to the content. In this video you’ll see  and hear how the STEAM curricula (was at that point) still being developed. You’ll notice that in this arena, STEAM standards were still being fleshed out. But, you’ll want to note when and where in the video the efforts to make everything align to the current ‘common’ standards in place. The briefing is just one of the instances to seek more government funding (via research grants) to have music cause education to dig deeper and wider. Much of the very same CCSS language we’ve heard will be used in the STEM/STEAM presentation. All have the same goal: Orchestrated student lifetime success. To pull all this off, we’ll need MORE STEM/STEAM teachers (think of those 5 original goals). Note how only STEAM teachers will be able to teach STEAM topics. (does this sound familiar?) Expect to hear how data will follow the students (just like CCSS, STEM, Workforce). Oh, be sure you note what CCSS supportive corporation is also present at this briefing.

Simply put, all this is a bridge to connect one education reform aspect to another. And, it’s one the government is heavily banking on that we’ll embrace.

Related Sources:

A related resource you may like: NAfME’s call for aligning teachers to the (then) new CCSS aligned Art Standards: http://www.nafme.org/coalition-launches-call-for-benchmarking-teachers/

Another related resource: NAfME’s Congressional attention getting “Bubbles” CCSS aligned program.
See: http://www.nafme.org/teachers-spoke-nafme-listened-congress-got-the-message/

*Note: I bring up these both, as I’ve written on both of them in a previously published article. I  detailed for you HOW aligned to Common Core they both the Art Standards and the “Bubbles” are.  Both are included in the published post from Feb. of this year. See:  https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/rmt-ccss-hits-the-sour-notes/


In the third portion, I’ll be showing you that STEAM is much older than it appears. How STEM has even more up its sleeve for America. It is my hope you’ll be able to see just how encompassing all this is and what it means not only for education, but for our country.