Integrated STEAM approaches for communicating science in informal learning environments

Integrated STEAM approaches for communicating science in informal learning environments

Author: Joseph Roche – Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Ireland


  • Philip Bell – University of Washington, United States
  • Mairéad Hurley – Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland
  • Sam Mejias – London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  • Nancy Price – University of Washington, United States

Integrating art and science is a process that is often described as “STEAM”, which is the addition of the arts to the more well-known STEM acronym (where STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The STEAM movement has seen researchers and practitioners in both science communication and science education wrestle with the strengths and weaknesses of this approach both in terms of communication and pedagogy. During this practice insight talk, learnings will be shared from a “Science Learning+” project — an international initiative between the National Science Foundation in the US, the Wellcome Trust, and the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK, with the goal of furthering research in informal learning environments. This five-year project pairs researchers with practitioners to explore how six informal learning programmes, in the US, the UK, and Ireland, utilise an integrated STEAM approach to communicate science in the hope of creating transformative experiences for young people, particularly those from low-income and under-represented communities. This talk will focus on the epistemic intersections between art and science that may operate to broaden appeal and expand opportunities for meaningful science communication in informal learning environments. The audience will be invited to share their views on whether such STEAM approaches might have a meaningful role in the future of science communication.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time