Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Robert Ricketts

Second Advisor

Jeremy Szteiter


This research expounds on the history of, hurdles facing, and future goals and possibilities for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) education, including how it can create empathetic, scientifically literate global citizens. Reasons for the cultivation of empathy, scientific literacy, and global citizenship in the classroom are numerous; escalating worldwide nationalism, accelerated climate change, and the increased need to address sustainable development and poverty have produced particular urgency for such student development. Science educators today rarely prioritize the “art” in STEAM education, despite a panoply of cognitive benefits including perspective-taking, critical thinking, and increased personal connection to scientific content. Development of such skills is needed to ensure that well-informed democratic participation and scientific innovation can be relied upon to create an equitable and sustainable future for the planet and humanity. In addition to providing an analysis of piloted STEAM lessons, this paper urges a more robust understanding of effective STEAM education, including explicit emphasis on art, in order to prepare humankind to confront our most pressing issues.