from iSTEM+ to iSTEAM plus: what characterises integrated learning and can you kindly share what you have / are doing?


Dear Group,

iSTEM+ has been developing for some years now and many have been working to evolve iSTEM + into iSTEaM+ .

We at Hockerill have been piloting courses and would like to learn how others have taken this forward.

I have been talking to the International Baccalaureate Middle Years (11 to 16) Development group about developing iSTEaM + project based learning courses, especially at KS3. The IB is renowned for supporting integrated learning and that the idea that the curriculum content should be set in the context of a consideration of the implications on people, communities and across the world.

To give an example, in our Year 7 project we teach about Mankind venturing into space using the NASA Mission X project "Train Like an Astronaut" as an iSTEM plus platform.  This brings together Science, PE, Sport Science, Maths, CT, FT, MFL and Well Being.

Students get to design and build rockets and Mars Rovers and by considering the impact of the Space Industry on the people, culture and economy in different regions of the World. Students have the time to reflect on about how people live, their language and the big issues in that region.

Each student works on a different region and is tasked to produce a report / presentation, (using some of the native language)  about the benefits, disadvantages and the impact of the industry in the population then as a member of a team they work to consider the global impact of the industry.

We do similar re the aviation industry.

Project based learning works really and I am thinking that this actually would justify the creation of a Faculty of Integrated Learning within schools.

Such Faculty would then have a place at the curriculum development table which would facilitate other faculties to come out from their silos. Often integrated learning can be a bit of an after-thought or tail end Charlie in the way of things in schools and when attempted often ends up producing coordinated sequential courses, each department ‘chipping in’ over a series of lessons. Such arrangements introduce complications like tracking or mapping what is done in different areas. It's almost a certainty that lessons get out of sync., and the whole thing breaks down.

We'd be interested to hear of your experiences and hopefully we can come to a clear consensus about what characterises iSTEAM+ .

This would help us to talk to the IB and other interested parties like the IET, RAE and the various other bodies.

It would be nice to think about rehabilitating the word “Engineering” : it's literally at the centre of STEAM yet there's few , if any courses that appear in the school curriculum that are entitled "Engineering".

My direct email at Hockerill Anglo European College is <>: I'd love to hear from you.


Age7-11, 11-14, 14-16, 16-19
Report inappropriate content 


Sign in to post comments