Art & Art History ETDs


Jane Crayton

Publication Date



Students struggle to learn STEM concepts. The arts have been proposed as a means to engage students in STEM education, resulting in the idea of STEAM. However, STEAM approaches do not always result in learning. A collaboration between a major research university and a small Native arts college in the southwestern United States provided an opportunity for studying the potential for arts to engage students in STEM learning. This study investigates how participating art students (N = 4) solved technological and design production problems when working with immersive technologies in a paid summer internship program. The internship program lasted six weeks during the summer of 2013. Students were asked to create Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the topic of water sustainability for the immersive digital dome. Students applied their prior film and digital media production skills as well as immersive media production techniques acquired through their participation in the summer internship program to create PSAs. Qualitative data collected by the researcher, included interviews, observations, artifacts of student work and reflections. Qualitative and aesthetic analysis focused on finding connections between students personal connections and how that influenced their engagement in STEM and Art learning while designing for immersive technologies. The research is important evidence of collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking as outlined by the Framework for 21st Century Learning, that also integrates STEM and the arts. The study contributes to what is known about how people learn when they design for immersive media, and identifies potential barriers and affordances for STEAM learning.'



Document Type


Degree Name

Art Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Svihla, Vanessa

Second Committee Member

Kingsley, Karla

Third Committee Member

Pauly, Nancy

Fourth Committee Member

Svihla, Vanessa


STEM, STEAM, Fulldome, Project-based, dome, art, science, technology, engineering, mathematics