Hand writing mathematical formulas on a blackboard.
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“It’s Just Lines”: A Qualitative Analysis of Emergent Structures and Experiences within STEAM Education Initiatives for Secondary-Level Students

Doctoral student John O’Meara recently published this article in the LASER (Linking Art and Science through Education and Research) Journal

Posted in: Publications, Students and Alumni

construction models made in the Desmos application
Final Desmos model constructions from two separate students, depicting emergent forms of complexity within the activity

The article is a qualitative analysis of the experiences and discourse of high school students who participated in an art and science initiative that sought mathematics and physics education reform through an immersive and innovative approach to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) experiences. This work focused on the concluding task of a one-day workshop wherein students were led on a campus walk to observe the local campus architecture, and then recreated one of the observed structures within the Desmos graphing utility. Student approaches and narratives revealed a willingness to explore the complexity of the modeling task that might not otherwise be encouraged in their traditional learning environments. The analytical framework of the three worlds of mathematics proved to be a particularly useful tool in making sense of the complexity of student engagement. Implications for the future of STEAM education and interdisciplinary curricula were explored, with emphasis on the roles of creativity and a non-traditional learning environment.

Congratulations, John!

Read the Article