Spread a love of STEAM

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Naoimh Riordan is a primary teacher in Ireland with a passion for space. After attending a European Space Agency teacher training, she recognized the need to create more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) resources for use by primary school teachers in her area. As a TED-Ed Innovative Educator, she addressed this need and built on the idea by introducing the Arts. Below, learn more about Naoimh’s project.


STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Teachers can use project-based learning to help students connect the dots between these topics. The inclusion of Art is important, because it encourages creativity, communication, critical thinking, and communication.


“I began with the initial idea of creating a STEM explanatory animation,” says Naoimh. Then, she discovered the value of including Art with STEM — aka STEAM — which encompasses and embodies the whole student. “Not only does STEAM highlight the strong scientific subjects, it also demonstrates the power of creativity and the wonderful advantage of the Arts,” says Naoimh. “The Arts must be allowed for creativity to flow, which encourages and develops new ideas, innovations, and inventions.”

After pitching the idea of creating her own animated video to explain the concept of STEAM, Naoimh returned to Cork, Ireland and immediately began searching for a production company who would take on her project. She tells the story: “Through several months of networking (Top Tip No.1) I found the wonderful Mr. Brendan Bourke of Sonic Surgery Ltd. Brendan and I worked together creating my storyboards, animation, music and voiceover. I was also lucky enough that the distinguished Dr. Niamh Shaw willingly took on the prestigious position of the voiceover. It was a pleasure to hear my script being read with such energy and enthusiasm.”

Below, read Naoimh’s tips on how to finish your own animated video project, complete with script, voiceover, and expert animators:

  • Network, network, and network
  • You must be driven, ambitious, and have passion for your project
  • Do not be disheartened when you hear the words “NO” eventually you will hear the words “YES”
  • Know that it may take long hours and sleepless nights, but it will all come together in the end
  • Enjoy the whole process. It is a unique experience and something very special indeed!

This article is part of the TED-Ed Innovation Project series, which highlights 25+ TED-Ed Innovation Projects designed by educators, for educators, with the support and guidance of the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program. You are welcome to share, duplicate and modify projects under this Creative Commons license to meet the needs of students and teachers. Art credit: Shutterstock.