So, STEAM gets its own national holiday. How cool is that? We can’t say we’re surprised. It’s transforming education around the world, so the recognition is well-deserved. For those of you who aren’t familiar with STEAM education, here’s the backstory.

It started with STEM education: “a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.” Many economies, including the U.S., are seriously in need of people with STEM skills. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to fixing this issue. But, for years, something was missing from the equation: art.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) champions bringing the “A” to STEM. The goal is “to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” Why is it important? For a number of reasons.

Hugely influential people, companies, and institutions have begun to support it. In honor of National STEM/STEAM Day, we’re raising a glass to some of our favorite STEAM initiatives.

Disney’s Create Tomorrowland Challenge

groundbreaking steam initiatives disney
Image Source: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for LEGO Education/FIRST

Leading up to the release of the highly anticipated Tomorrowland, Disney launched a creativity-centered competition for kids between ages 8-17. The challenge: create an idea for an invention that might exist in the future.

Sesame Street + STEAM

groundbreaking steam initiatives sesame street
Image Source: Sesame Workshop

STEM has been a major focus on Sesame Street for some time. Before the show’s 43rd season, the Sesame Workshop announced that they’d be adding the arts to the equation.

Microsoft’s Full STEAM Ahead Program

groundbreaking steam initiatives microsoft
Image Source: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Australia developed this initiative in partnership with the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN). Full Steam Ahead’s mission is to “increase access to computer science education for all youth, and especially for those from under-represented backgrounds.”

VH1’s Save the Music Foundation

groundbreaking steam initiatives VH1
Image Source: VH1

VH1 is fully dedicated to “restoring music programs in America’s public schools” with their Save the Music Foundation. STEAM is a major part of their mission.