STEAM represents the economic progress and breakthrough innovation that comes from adding art and design to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and research: STEM + Art = STEAM. The value of art and design to innovation is clear: Artists and designers humanize technology, making it understandable and capable of bringing about societal change. The tools and methods of a studio-based education offer new models for creative problem solving, flexible thinking and risk-taking that are needed in today’s complex and dynamic world.

The Rhode Island School of Design has taken a leadership role in enacting policies and collaborations that recognize the pivotal role of art and design in building STEAM. To learn more their efforts, visit

In addition to the growing support for STEAM, the attached report was recently released by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools

Thought leaders on STEM to STEAM:

“Art and design matter. They are essential to innovation; jobs creation and helping scientists visualize their research. To remain competitive, we need to include art and design in our conversation on innovation. Our economy will come back through innovation. Where we can succeed is in the gray areas between sectors. We spend far too little time colliding outside our individual silos.”
John Maeda, President, The Rhode Island School of Design
“It’s not about adding on arts education. It’s about fundamentally changing education to incorporate the experimentation and exploration that is at the heart of effective education.”
Margaret Honey, President and CEO, The New York Hall of Science
“The hard truth is that the public schools, particularly the urban districts, have no time in their instructional day to add art to the curriculum. School leaders must figure out how to include art in the core curriculum if they want students to be able to be able to think imaginatively. What we have been doing is simply not getting the job done.”
Andrea Castaneda, Chief Department of Accelerating School Performance, Rhode Island Department of Education

The information featured in this section is used with permission from the Rhode Island School of Design. For more information on their efforts, please contact Babette Allina, Office of Government Relations: / 401-454-6317.