Tag Archives: STEAM

Our Favorite Open Educational Resources of 2012

janetpic_preferred_croppedBy Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki



Here are a few of our favorite resources from 2012. If you look these over, I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of them to be interesting and useful! Click on each title to go to that resource at Curriki.

STEMware Zombie Plague 

Why We Like It: STEM and zombies were popular in 2012– this is a great combination of them both! Contributed By: Barbara UCD


Why We Like It: Karen has always contributed a ton of resources. Most recently several free Kindle versions of books. With the increase in e-readers, this is a good collection of free options. Contributed By: Karen Fasimpaur

Investigating Bikes 

Why We Like It: A cross curricula approach using bikes as a starting point for arts math, science. Way cool! Contributed By: Andy Hannaford

Average speed inquiry lab 

Why We Like It:Students will feel like they are playing while learning about concepts such as average speed, data collection, graphing, extrapolation and interpolation of data. Contributed By: Carol Hagen

Reading Lolita in Tehran  

Why We Like It: A full unit on an eye-opening novel that incorporates music, poetry, group activities, current issues AND is aligned to Common Core State Standards. Contributed By: Sue Costagliola 

Rice Elementary Science Curriculum  

Why We Like It:The RESCu.Rice.edu site contains numerous inquiry based lesson plans for K-5 teachers and super engaging activities for kids. Contributed By: Carolyn Nichol


Why We Like It: WikiPremed is a comprehensive, creative commons licensed MCAT course, notable in demonstrating a unified curriculum for teaching undergraduate science is a true treasure trove of learning materials and over 100 hours of course video. Contributed By: John Wetzel

Scatter It!  

Why We Like It: Scatterplotting has never been easier to learn! Contributed By: Mary Richardson

Music Lesson Plans  

Why We Like It: Music is an important subject, even if not part of the core curriculum. This collection is a good starting point for teaching music. Contributed By: Nate Merrill

TED (free app)  

Why We Like It: TED talks are known for being some of the most engaging, timely, and progressive presentations. This is amazing access to all of them–free! And there’s no fear of the content getting stale. There are new videos posted every week. Contributed By: Sandy Gade 

Othello 2012 and BEYOND!– 2012-2013  

Why We Like It: Modernize the teaching Othello through the use of news articles, non-fiction pieces, technology, and recent news events, aligned to the CCSSO. Contributed By: Sue Costagliola East Meadow School District


STEAM = STEM & Arts Enhances Learning

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

In June, I wrote a blog about STEAM, which is the incorporation of Arts education into STEM learning. I noted that scientific progress and excellent design and engineering require insight, creativity, collaboration, communication and thinking out of the box. An appreciation of the Arts fuels creative thinking and innovation. Furthermore, technology needs to be developed with the human user always in mind. The full blog can be found here – https://currikiblog.wordpress.com/tag/steam/

Here is another interesting blog on how STEAM ties into 21st century learning: http://goo.gl/Zk512. The author notes “Many scientists I’ve met integrate art into their work intentionally or unconsciously.  Communicating scientific concepts and data requires creating visual and even sonic representations.”

Hurricane Fran 1996, Source: NASA/GSFC

Apple, the most valuable company in the world today, creates products that are as much about design principles for the user interface and about the product look and feel as they are about the internal technology. Design and technology are complementary and both necessary in developing everything from automobiles to cola bottles to electric guitars.

The goals of a STEAM-based approach are functional literacy and holistic learning. A good presentation on why STEAM can be found here: http://www.steamedu.com/WhySTEAMshortWeb.pdf

School arts programs can improve student performance. Large enhancements in reading scores have been seen in some trials through the DREAM program, which guides third- and fourth-grade teachers in incorporating arts into their lessons.

And below you can find links to a number of free, curated Arts and Language Arts resources on Curriki, and over 80 STEM resources as well!

Incorporating the Arts into STEM

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Appreciating and creating art fires the imagination, widens vision, and promotes creativity.

STEAM is the incorporation of Arts education into STEM learning. The relationship of Arts education to STEM subjects is not ambiguous in the least. Scientific progress and excellent design and engineering require insight, creativity, collaboration, communication and thinking out of the box. An appreciation of the Arts fuels creative thinking and innovation. Furthermore, technology needs to be developed with the human user always in mind.

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.” – Albert Einstein

The Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education (LCI) promotes imaginative learning through aesthetic education: for teachers, teacher educators, teaching artists, with multiple partnerships. Their home page is found at http://www.lcinstitute.org.

LCI’s approach to imaginative learning is grounded in a 35-year history. They have developed 10 Capacities for Imaginative Learning:

  1. Noticing Deeply
  2. Embodying
  3. Questioning
  4. Making Connections
  5. Identifying Patterns
  6. Exhibiting Empathy
  7. Living with Ambiquity
  8. Creating Meaning
  9. Taking Action
  10. Reflecting / Assessing


LCI has produced a superb document “Entering the World of the Work of Art“ that you can access at: http://www.lcinstitute.org/about-lci/imaginative-learning. It’s a guide to LCI’s instructional approach and a wonderful introduction to the methodology of imaginative learning.

“Imaginative thinking is best understood as the cognitive ability to visualize new possibilities. It allows students to develop the capacity to make connections, notice deeply, take action, and reflect, as they inquire and absorb information in any given discipline.” – Entering the World of the Work of Art

LCI believes that imaginative thinking can be taught and needs to be taught. Imagination leads to creativity, which brings about innovation. Their approach focuses on participatory activities including art making, questioning, reflection and contextual information and research.

The process involves selecting a work of art, brainstorming, creating lines of inquiry, and creating connections around the work of art. The document referenced above includes templates, guides, and rubrics for lesson creation.

We encourage you to take a look at “Entering the World of the Work of Art” and also to consider LCI’s educator workshops, held in New York and in other locations.

Information on educator workshops is found at: http://www.lcinstitute.org/workshops-and-courses including this summer in New York:

2012 Introductory-Level Workshops

Lincoln Center Institute
New York, NY: July 9–13 and July 16–20

Curriki is pleased to have the Lincoln Center Institute as a partner in open education.