The acronym STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) is at the forefront of society due to the lack of qualified professionals in scientific-technological disciplines. It has been proven that it is vital to develop an interdisciplinary learning of these disciplines since the integral skills obtained while learning STEAM promote engineering and computational thinking, as well as research techniques, problem solving, creativity, and in general, the necessary skills to design innovative solutions to the problems in our social and environmental context.

GRETEL, given its integration in La Salle, can’t ignore the social mission of education. In this aspect, talking about social STEAM emphasizes the social aspect of these activities, that is the need to promote cooperative learning and social interaction in this interdisciplinary learning. In this sense, and despite the need for curriculums that are rich in STEAM, the current standard education system is deficient since the disciplines of STEAM are usually taught in disconnected compartments.

We propose two main lines of research related to the STEAM branch and education:

  • PRE-UNIVERSITY education: Robotics as a social learning engine STEAM. Robotic platforms have proven to be a very effective way to teach social STEAM concepts through design, construction or interaction with technological devices that incorporate sensors, actuators and programming. It is a means to promote not only the understanding of the concepts related to STEAM areas, but also to promote reasoning skills, problem solving, scientific inquiry, creativity, social interactions and gender equality. In this line of research we analyse the use of robotics tools with innovative teaching practices to promote social STEAM, taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the network of educational centers linked to La Salle (on Catalan, state, and European levels), as well as field of experimentation and pilot studies. This process of introducing robotics has already begun with the first pilot courses in two schools La Salle Catalunya throughout 2016-2017, as part of the EduEnginy project, a knowledge transfer project of Campus La Salle Barcelona. There will also be research activities related to social STEAM learning in other educational entities of primary and secondary studies.
  • STEAM in UNIVERSITY studies: Although the STEAM debate has focused on primary and secondary education, we consider that this same model can be transferred to university education in technical branches such as architecture, engineering or business schools. For example, in one of the research lines, the introduction of the use of history as a tool to improve the understanding of the digital revolution and the study of the learning mechanisms of architecture and engineering will be considered. This methodological approach from history, for example, can highlight the disruptive mechanisms generated by the challenge of introducing BIM (Building Information Modelling) environments in the learning of these disciplines. In the field of Animation, we can define as a vector of STEAM art how to promote cognitive and creative development in all types of educational levels by providing visual resources for the expression of ideas that complement linguistic expression. Based on the possibilities offered by this degree, the objective focuses on designing strategies capable of disseminating and promoting animation as a tool linked to expressive artistic language, which allows to work on complex and abstract intelligible concepts in students for each educational stage.