What is STEAM?

STEAM is an interdisciplinary approach that bridges STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines with the Arts, humanities, and social sciences in meaningful ways. STEAM is rooted in the conviction that the challenging questions of the 21st century can only be answered through the integrated efforts of all disciplines working together. STEAM embraces and explores the idea that interdisciplinary critical thinking inspires innovative solutions.


What is the STEAM Challenge?

The Wayne State University STEAM Challenge seeks undergraduate and graduate students to explore new ways that Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics–along with the humanities and social sciences–might contribute to one another for the purpose of enhancing the lives of Southeastern Michigan and specifically Detroit residents.

STEAM Challenge teams will identify a real world problem or issue within Detroit and suggest an idea for a project-based solution that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach and fits within the 2017 theme (described below).


STEAM Challenge - 2017 Theme

This year’s STEAM Challenge is focused on Social Justice, Equity and Opportunity, with sub-themes of Sustainability, Safe Water, Urban Health, Mobility, Student Success, Diversity and Inclusion.  Sample team projects may include:

  • Creating a standardized faucet filter to improve water safety in older homes
  • Developing attractive youth toys for females to enhance interest in STEM careers
  • Creating a safe fertilizer for urban gardens
  • Generating a phone application to improve telemedicine/telepsychiatry opportunities for urban residents with limited transportation.  


The STEAM Challenge...

  • models the transformative, society-changing potential of STEAM cross-disciplinary work that asks what the arts can teach us about the sciences and, conversely, what the sciences can contribute to the arts and humanities.

  • facilitates student learning and engagement across and beyond the university community through intentional problem-solving activities designed to create real-world solutions and address the pressing needs of SE Michigan residents.

  • challenges students to apply what they have learned in classes to envision interdisciplinary projects that model the best of STEAM.



Wayne State University STEAM Challenge Promotional Team

Website and promotional media content

CaraMedia Productions

PR, marketing, and social media

Alexandra Leroux, Delaney DeAngelis, and Da'Stanza Murphy