STEAM: Your Pathway to the Future

What is STEAM?

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Arts/Design and Mathematics.

STEAM is an approach that modernizes and strengthens Lakota’s academic programs to better prepare students for their future. The intent is to encourage our students to be innovators and creative problem-solvers. Creativity and design concepts run throughout the entire STEAM framework (opens in a new window) .

How did STEAM originate?

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – has evolved into STEAM. The United States and Ohio governments, as well as business and industry, have recognized the need for more high school and college graduates adept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM idea has been expanded to STEAM to include the applied arts/design fields, and to incorporate design skills. Global competitiveness demands that our students are better prepared in all of these areas.

Why is STEAM important from a career standpoint?

STEAM occupations are among the highest paying and fastest growing, with the lowest unemployment rates. Half of the nation’s economic growth comes from technological innovation. U.S. Labor Department figures show that more than one-half of the fastest-growing occupations are STEAM²-related fields. The ability to understand and use STEAM facts, principles, and techniques are highly transferable skills and provide individuals with many career options. A recent report indicated that the average annual wage for all STEAM occupations was $77,880, significantly above the U.S. average of $43,460 for non-STEAM occupations.

How does Lakota implement STEAM? 

The STEAM has been phased in across all levels. At the elementary school level, students are introduced to STEAM through the science curriculum using Engineering is Elementary units. For example, first graders will be exposed to chemical engineering when they work with play dough and second graders will be introduced to mechanical and civil engineering when they learn how windmills and bridges are designed.

STEAM elementary model

All seventh-graders will take “Design and Modeling,” which will introduce engineering and design concepts. Students will use 3-D modeling software to create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their work. Eighth grade students elect a course called “Automation and Robotics,” which focuses on automation and robotics. Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit educational organization, developed the curriculum.

At the high school level, students can pursue one of two pathways to strengthen both workforce development and college readiness: an engineering pathway or a biomedical pathway. Each pathway consists of four rigorous courses which can culminate in local internships. The Project Lead the Way engineering and biomedical curriculum is used at the high school level.

STEAM 7-12 graphic

Engineering Course Brochures


Biomedical Course Brochures

How can you help?

Community members can help in several ways. First, be willing to be a guest speaker to share with secondary students how your business or organization uses the design process to creatively and innovatively solve problems. Second, provide job shadowing, mentorships, and internships for students in grades 7-12 to learn how STEAM concepts are integrated in the engineering or biomedical fields. Click here to view Lakota's internship page (opens in a new window) .

Is more information available about STEAM?

Yes, for a report about STEAM, please review the STEAM Framework or contact Katie Bauer at; 513-409-4393.