UC San Diego Extension and UCTV have partnered to launch The STEAM Channel in recognition of the growing demand for professionals who can balance science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning with the creativity and critical thinking taught in the arts. STEAM education is an essential pipeline to a skilled workforce, training the next generation of innovators for successful career pathways.

“The STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are the center of attention in most U.S. public schools today,” said Ed Abeyta, assistant dean for community engagement at UC San Diego Extension. “The focus on STEM fields was initiated to increase global competitiveness and the project does have its merits, however, it has left the arts in the periphery.”

The STEAM Channel is live Thursday with the goal of bringing the focus back to the arts. It will feature content that demonstrates how art can be integrated into engineering or related careers by presenting the STEAM movement from four perspectives: Research, Policy, Education, and Industry. With the help of partners, UC San Diego Extension and UCTV will continue to build on the platform.

“Research shows us that students begin to lose interest in science and math right around middle school,” Abeyta said. “Our challenge is to show them that math is fun, engineering is cool, and then ignite that passion in kids—adding art to STEM studies means students are limited only by their imaginations.”

Videos include examples of STEAM in action, as seen in Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab and presentations by STEAM advocates who shared their best practices at the first two annual STEAMConnect Ascend Conferences. The 2015 STEAMConnect Ascend series will also be broadcast in a week of STEAM Channel programming, May 4 through 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. on UCSD-TV.

In the months ahead, The STEAM Channel will add new video content and supporting lesson plans.

To learn more about this recalibrated approach to education, balancing the left with the right side of the brain, visit uctv.tv/STEAM. To become a partner of The STEAM Channel, contact UCTV at steamchannel@ucsd.edu.

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