Northern Ireland’s Creative Learning Centres have been leading the STEM > STEAM movement in NI, seeking to embed the Arts and Creativity into learning around STEM in schools and communities. As part of this process the Future Classrooms 2014 conference was organised in March under the title Creating STEAM in the Classroom.
Delivered as part of Creativity Month 2014, the conference drew in speakers from the Rhode Island School of Design and Northern Ireland to explore practical ways in which Creativity and Arts, as expressed through digital media, can contribute to and enhance the development of STEM learning and skills within the curriculum in Northern Ireland.
International best practice around the concept of STEAM based learning was examined alongside local models, as developed by the Creative Learning Centres in partnership with DCAL and CCEA, and a range of case studies showcased to show STEAM in practical action in Northern Ireland’s Classrooms.
Delegates were then offered the opportunity to engage in a range of hands on taster sessions around STEAM delivery with both new and existing technologies. Mobile Devices, Digital Fabrication equipment including 3d Printers, Desktop Milling Machines and Laser Cutters and software packages for Gaming, 3d Design and Creative Learning. Attendees were given a practical insight into how STEAM based learning can impact on schools and learning here in the coming years.