What Is It & Why Now?

STREAM stands for science, technology, research, engineering, the arts, and math and is an expanded approach to what many know as STEM. What makes STREAM-focused instruction in the Solana Beach Schools especially unique is that it introduces and integrates concepts and skills across multiple subject areas, rather than treating these subjects as separate fields of study.

Offered primarily through the Discovery Labs at each school, STREAM provides project-based, hands-on opportunities to problem-solve and taps into students’ natural curiosity. Students apply their knowledge and skills across subject areas through the use of technology, engineering-design processes, art, and writing.

Students are learning to conduct scientific experiments, gather and analyze data, work as a team, create and build, draw and communicate conclusions, develop and evaluate prototypes, and think critically.

The STREAM approach reinforces many of the Common Core State Standards and helps foster Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and Innovation (the 4C’s) in a way that makes learning meaningful for every student.

Some Facts Behind STREAM
  • Children at birth are natural scientists, engineers, and problem-solvers. They consider the world around them and try to make sense of it the best way they know how: touching, tasting, building, dismantling, creating, discovering, and exploring. “For kids, this isn’t education. It’s fun!”

    (U.S.News-STEM education it’s elementary)
  • By the time students reach fourth grade, a third of boys and girls have lost an interest in science. And, by eighth grade, almost 50 percent have lost interest or deemed it irrelevant to their education or future plans.

    (U.S.News-STEM education it’s elementary)
  • Studies have identified the elementary years as the period when students form their interests in STEM identities and careers—much earlier than many people probably believe to be the case. This is particularly important for science, which gets short shrift in many elementary schools.

    (McMurrer, J. 2008: Instructional time in elementary schools: A closer look at changes for specific subjects. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy. Retrieved from

Quotes from Kids

“I loved the science experiment because we saved Fred from drowning using the scientific method!”
~ Alice 3rd Grade
“I worked with a friend and engineered a pyramid out of marshmallows and spaghetti, today was so fun!”
~ Sophie 2nd Grade
“I like how the experiment was making me curious”
~ Saina 3rd Grade
“I loved engineering cars!”
~ Logan 2nd Grade
“Today, I learned about scientists and what types of scientists there are. There is even a food scientist! Today was cool!”
~ Sofia 2nd Grade