Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Petra Chu, Ph.D


Arts Integration, STEM Education, STEAM Education


The division between the arts and sciences appears to be deepening in America. As political leaders emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in schools, arts education is diminished to make room for STEM courses. Concerned about this phenomenon, many art educators are working to integrate the arts into STEM education through a variety of arts integration efforts. Arts integration not only helps to preserve a place for the arts in the curriculum, it also has been shown to enhance STEM learning.

Arts integration is of special interest to art museum educators who feel that they can provide resources to help teachers integrate the arts into STEM. By offering arts integration curricula, a museum supports its community and maintains its own relevance. Also, while general museum funding is decreasing, grant money is being made available to museums to support the areas of STEM and arts integration. Schools are also more inclined to visit museums when the museum can provide arts integration that ties to STEM learning.

This paper explores five efforts by museums to support their communities and retain their relevance through arts integration programs. The case studies include the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California; The National Museum of Math in Manhattan, New York; The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore Maryland; The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge in Washington D.C., and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. These case studies review the development of the arts integration programs at each museum, describe the programming and review lessons plans, and demonstrate how they benefit students and teachers. Evaluations and critiques of each program are included.