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What is STEAM?

STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths - is a global education movement in response to emerging technology, increased automation and a new set of skills required for a changing work environment.

To prepare students for this future, many Australian and international educators have turned to the learning approach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). This approach reinforces technology-centric skills but lacks focus on the skill that will be even more important to employers in the future: creativity and innovative thinking.

The main difference between these education approaches is STEM explicitly focuses on scientific concepts, whereas STEAM investigates the same concepts through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process.

Want more information on STEAM and the importance of creativity in child development? Read Bronwen Wade-Leeuwen's explainer article in The Conversation here.

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Bronwen Wade-Leeuwen

Dr Bronwen Wade-Leeuwen is a STEAM expert, artist and passionate educator that has spent her life nurturing creativity in students and teachers. 

As founder and director of STEAM Ahead Australia, Bronwen brings her academic expertise and 30+ years of teaching experience across primary, high school, and tertiary education. Her PhD research investigates fostering critical and creative thinking skills in teacher education using multimodal approaches, including reforming education to value the Arts as core to an integrated STEAM learning framework for social change in the 21st century.

Honorary Advisor to the Australian Fujian Association (2011-2020). Bronwen has a PhD from School of Education, Macquarie University for her research into fostering

creativity in learners. Master’s Degree in Environmental Design Thesis topic ‘The Influence of Chinese Calligraphy on Australian Painting’, Canberra University.

Graduate of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore. Bronwen has B. Ed (Art), (COFA), New South Wales University and is a NESA Accredited Proficient

Teacher from NSW Education Standards Authority.

Dr Wade is a Visual Artist and Arts Educator born in Sydney with extensive experience teaching Arts Education in various places around the world.


Dr Wade has experience teaching children, teenagers, adults and seniors. She has been a Master teacher at the Workshop Art Centre for more than 30 years, Sydney Community College and Macquarie Evening College,

Art Est - and other art centres. Currently, Dr Wade specialises in Moku Watercolours and Chinese Brush Painting. Her classes include: birds and flowers, traditional and contemporary landscape painting and modern calligraphic expressive forms.

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Your STEAM Partner

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Dr Wade has partnered with education institutions like Macquarie University and Maria Regina Primary school to deliver STEAM initiatives and workshops. As a strong believer in collaborating with industry providers, Dr Wade has partnered with Adobe, OfficeMAX and Block42 to develop STEAM learning initiatives and activities. 


A frequent speaker at academic conferences both locally and internationally, Dr Wade is a strong advocate for working within the Australian cross-curriculum priority areas of sustainability, working with our First Nations people and collaborating with Asia Pacific countries. 

Speaking Schedule:

  • NSW Teachers Guild (Concord, Sydney, March 17, 2020): Fostering 21st Century Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

  • 'I Love Planet Earth' International Visual Art Exhibition (Sydney Opera House, May 10, 2020): the importance of STEAM education, developing 21st century skills and how start-ups are empowering students to think differently.

  • European InSEA Congress (Baeza, Spain, July 6-9, 2021): Aesthetic Experience and Ethical Responsibility for Social Change and an Education in a Globalized World.

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