5 STEAM derivations

In this chapter you will learn about:

– What derivation STREAM, METALS, STEMIA, GEMS and iSTEAM mean.

As mentioned in previous subchapters, STEAM is a derivation of STEM education by including the arts. But there exists other derivations. There will be some of them described in detail.

STREM or STREAM adds one more layer to STEM and STEAM: reading and wRiting. Advocates of STREAM see literacy as an essential part of a well-rounded curriculum, as it requires critical thinking as well as creativity. STREAM projects are similar to STEM or STEAM, but fold in the components of reading and writing. But in the other sources R could be for robotics or even religion. Not everyone is convinced that adding an A or R to STEM is beneficial. In fact, some see it as a dilution of STEM’s focus and objectives (Trachta, 2018).

If you add L to STEAM and work around the letters a little, you get METALS, which is a pretty good acronym. This is about adding logic to STEAM. Aims to enrich STEAM education by logic training, mainly in the development of logic games (Shrager, 2015).

The acronym STEMIE incorporates an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math ― as well as on Invention and Entrepreneurship (hence STEM+I+E). The aim is to have every child in every school become an inventor/entrepreneur once, better twice, and instil problem-solving, critical-thinking, and creativity skills for life (https://inventionconvention.org/oregon/stemie-coalition/).

From the other resource, the STEM Innovation Experience (STEMIE) is designed to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement in schools and enhance awareness of STEM in the wider community (https://study.unisa.edu.au/unisa-connect/STEMIE/).

GEMS is an acronym that is usually used for after school groups that support girls and their STEM-interests (GEMSclub). While the G, M, and S refer to girls, maths, and science, respectively, the E can refer to engaged, excelling, or engineering (Loyola, 2018). GEMS spread as a week-long summer school focused on basic education, providing girls with knowledge of applied science, technology and engineering.

iSTEM (Imagination, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning model produces a positive effect on integrated STEM thinking and the imagination ability of vocational high school students (Tsai, Chung ir Lou, 2018). From the other source I-STEM (sometimes iSTEM or I-STEM ED) is Integrative STEM education, which refers to technological/engineering design-based learning approaches that intentionally integrate content and process of science and/or mathematics education with content and process of technology and/or engineering education. Integrative STEM education may be enhanced through further integration with other school subjects, such as language arts, social studies, art, etc (Sanders & Wells 2010). Also iSTEM in some contexts is related to invigorating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.


Loyola, P. M. (2018). College of Education. Understanding STEM Identity Construction: An ethnography of an all-girls STEM club. Theses and Dissertations, 153. https://via.library.depaul.edu/soe_etd/153.

Sanders, M. E., & Wells, J. G. (2010). Integrative STEM education: Virginia Tech response to National STEM education reform effort. Paper presented at the Southeast Technology Education conference, Blacksburg, VA.

Shrager, J. (2015). METALS: Why logic deserves first order status in STEAM. Link to resource. https://leosstemhacks.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/metals-why-logic-deserves-first-order-status-in-steam/

Trachta, A. (2018). STEM vs. STEAM vs. Stream: What’s the Difference? Link to resource. https://www.niche.com/blog/stem-vs-steam-vs-stream/

Tsai, H.-Y., Chung, C.-C., & Lou, S.-J. (2018). Construction and development of iSTEM learning model. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 14(1), 1532. https://doi.org/10.12973/ejmste/78019