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STEAM Power – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University’s STEAM Power project has engaged in qualitative action research, promoting cultural education partnerships between higher and statutory education, industry, and museum-based contexts.

Led by June Bianchi, and based within the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) Art and Design Course in the Secondary Initial Teacher (ITE) Programme at Bath Spa University, STEAM Power: Integrating Art and Technology through Cultural Heritage Museum Partnerships facilitates partnerships with PGCE trainee teachers; cultural institutions and settings; interdisciplinary artists and practitioners; educators and interdisciplinary specialists; and a range of mainstream and specialist schools providing for children and young people of diverse abilities and needs including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

STEAM Power aims to develop creative visual thinking and inclusive pedagogical strategies in an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum with educational, cultural heritage, museum, charitable, and business stakeholders.

“Each human being is artist, scientist and mathematician all in one, in the sense that he is most profoundly concerned with aesthetic and emotional fitting, with practical and functional fitting.” – David Bohm (quantum physicist) 1998

Case Study 1: ARTiculation 2012-14

Project Partners:

  • Bath Spa PGCE Art and Design Course
  • Industrial Heritage Museum of Bath at Work, Bath,
  • STEAM practitioner Hugh Thomas, Director of My Future My Choice creative educational consultancy
  • Ralph Allen School, mixed 11–18 years academy
  • Fosse Way School, a specialist school providing for children 11–19 years with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) including Asperger Syndrome

“Having explored artists that have used industry as inspiration, and visited the Museum of Bath at Work, I discovered that technology and engineering can inspire artwork of depth and reflection, showing industrial objects in a new light.” – Jaime Cowdry, PGCE Art and Design Trainee

Case Study 2: Creative Structures 2014-5

M Shed industrial museum and its setting in Bristol’s Floating harbour inspired Creative Structures, a STEAM interdisciplinary project linking PGCE Art and Design 2014–5 cohort of trainee teachers with their counterpart mathematics group, led by Dr. Snezana Lawrence, PGCE Mathematics Course Leader and mathematics historian.

Project Partners:

  • M-Shed Museum, Bristol
  • Hugh Thomas, educational consultant at M Shed
  • Three Ways Special School, catering for students of 4–19 years with a range of medium to profound special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) incorporating both physical and cognitive impairments

"[The STEAM approach] enabled students’ mathematical and technological learning to be enjoyable and creative.” – Ben Edwards, Deputy Headteacher of Three Ways School

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