The term STEM was coined in 2001 by administrators with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to refer to fields and educational curricula in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEAM, which infuses the “A” for Arts into the equation, started gaining traction soon after the advent of STEM as a means to spur more design thinking and creativity within STEM and “an interest in the concepts as well as the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of creative problem-solving.”
See some examples of how art has inspired science and vice versa in the article When science meets art: 6 NSF research projects that turned STEM into STEAM.
“There’s beauty in science. Throughout history, scientists have been inspired by the elegant designs of nature and are fascinated today by new pictures of atomic structures and galactic black holes. Yet this overlap between science and art is often overlooked.”
- Andrea Stathopoulos, PhD Neuroscience
To acknowledge the growing interest in the intersection between the arts and STEM the Research Library has broadened the scope of its collections to include more arts and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) content. These resources can be found within the Library catalog, Primo, and highlighted across the various DEI Research Guides.
The Research Library has also built a STEM vs STEAM Research Guide, which features journals, books, and articles on the topic of STEM/STEAM. The guide also includes some examples of artists who have been inspired by science (including work by the artist who created the featured image for this post) and artists or artist/scientists who have inspired scientific innovations.
Feature image: Jill Pelto. “Climate Change Data.” 2015. Watercolor and colored pencil. https://www.jillpelto.com/climate-change-data