Join The Parade, New South Wales - Ph:+61-2-1234-5678

Published on 10 Dec 2016

STEAM - Putting the A into STEM

Which philosophy do you prefer? 1. Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think - Steve Jobs

2. Everybody in this country should learn how to think, because it also teaches you how to program a computer - Anon

Speaking of coding, Brian Heese (2014) writes: ‘when you learn computer programming you learn how to check your work for details, how to apply logic and how to persist at a task. You also learn how to ask a good question, often in written form. Finally you learn how to collaborate because much programming today is accomplished in teams. These timeless skills and learning behaviours will endure far longer than any programming language.’

Writing computer programs is is not the only way to learn how to code…. To put the A for art into their STEM project, students learn how to code using the languages of music and dance in an immersive STEAM learning environment.

By participating in an authentic STEAM project, we would argue that students gained the same benefits as gained from computer coding… and a lot more.

  • Original demo here

EXAMPLE PLANNING: Decide what style of music you want to create For example: A simple, bright, fun, techno dance track and promotional art work. Listen to .mp3 music tracks and download some that you like: Only use legal, public domain or similarly licensed music like: OpenMusic or Youtube music library This music track should be simple - it is only used to form a foundation - you may overwrite most/all of this when adding your own instruments, vocals and special effects.

EXAMPLE MUSIC TRACK: Import your selected music file into Audacity (see Audacity user manual here Create a 'Label' track to identify what instruments/sounds will be played in each section. Example, section labels like: introduction, main song, chorus, finale, fade out. Play the music track, sing/play along and modify your lyrics/notes to suit background track Create an additional, new track to record and to store your own song/music Play back both the original background and your new sounds You may need to 'mix' the tracks so that they play well together: see the Audacity tutorials You may end up with five or six tracks that contain different sounds. To avoid confusion while editing and re-organising the timing and content of multiple tracks, it is usually best to 'Mute' some tracks or play back a single track as 'Solo'

Example Introduction: Sydney, London, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Wahroonga… Wahroonga?

Main Song Phrases (repeated): My science teacher said Prove the Earth's not flat My creative art teacher said Design a hex hat My engineering teacher said Make a cricket bat My technology teacher said Code some music. That is that!

Background sounds: Ah Um Ooh

Other voice/background sounds: Wahroonga. Wahroonga? Wear the hex hat!


AS well as recording their own natural voices, students copied all of the lyrics an on-line 'text to speech' converter. The text2speech files were downloaded as mp3 files, using both male and female voices. The .mp3 files were imported into Audacity and used as part of the song. Each student had to edit, move, arrange, loop and branch multiple tracks so that the timing and arrangement was harmonious.


The final Audacity sound composition was exported as a .wav file and then imported into the free Openshot (or similar) video editing software (see Openshot Manual). Any other simple video editing tool would do as well. Students created a dance video and copied and pasted sections from other youtube clips to compose their own music video.

This video is one example created using the procedure described aabove. The tracks were merged and the final clip content was exported from Openshot and uploaded direct to Youtube

brainbox/young-creators/video-z-rant/home.txt · Last modified: 25/06/2019/ 19:53 by