17 Goals for People, for Planet

The STEMarts Curriculum Tool designs to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which address current global challenges. Through this partnership students know that they are working on meaningful solutions toward building a sustainable future for all. The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. The 17 Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.


Next Generation Science Standards

All STEMarts projects include the application of science and technology through art, design and community engagement. Projects are designed to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences released the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which lay out the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts that students should master in preparation for college and careers. We also design to the P21 standards. The P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning was developed with input from educators, education experts, and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills, knowledge, expertise, and support systems that students need to succeed in work, life, and citizenship. The Framework continues to be used by thousands of educators and hundreds of schools in the U.S. and abroad to put 21st century skills at the center of learning. All elements of the Framework are critical to ensure 21st century readiness for every student.

The NGSS standards that apply across all STEMarts projects are: ETS1:Engineering Design; ETS2A:Interdependence of Science Engineering and Technology; and ETS2B:Influence of Engineering, Technology and Science on Society and the Natural World. In addition, STEMarts projects address specific NGSS standards which are included in each project page (example below). The STEMarts curriculum also includes a Design Tool which applies variations of the core stages of the engineering design process. i.e. Lowrider and BioMachine.

BioSTEAM and the NGSS

The BioSTEAM projects such as BioMachine Design Challenge and the Pollinator Concentrator installation specifically address LS4.D Biodiversity & Humans.

STEMarts Application of NGSS

Below are key definitions and core ideas from the NGSS that are investigated through the STEMarts Curriculum Tool. You can share these core ideas with students to inform their design thinking. The chart provides a guide as to how the STEMarts projects are designed to the key NGSS and P21 topic areas.

Definitions of Technology, Engineering, and Applications of Science

  • Technology is any modification of the natural world made to fulfill human needs or desires.
  • Engineering is a systematic and often iterative approach to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human needs and wants.
  • An Application of Science is any use of scientific knowledge for a specific purpose, whether to do more science; to design a product, process, or medical treatment; to develop a new technology; or to predict the impacts of human actions.

 Objective: By exploring the influence of science and technology on society through the work of curated artists and their work, students investigate the underlying personal, ecological and sociological factors and thereby deepen their understanding. Students develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills as they investigate and analyze the science and technology inherent in the artist work and explore hands on STEAM activities.

Core Idea ETS1: Engineering Design

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

 Objective: By utilizing the STEMarts Design Tool, students will understand the stages of the engineering design process which is transferable to any creation/ production process.

Core Idea ETS2: Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society

ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology

ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

 Objective:  By learning about each artist and the scientific and social applications of the artist's work, students will develop an understanding of the interconnections of STEM, society, and the natural world. This will empower students to become creative participants instead of passive consumers with respect to the applications of science and technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Objective: By working in self-directed teams to explore the curriculum tool to research and then create art or experiments inspired by the curated artists, students gain essential skills necessary to succeed in 21st century life and work environments. Students will apply the 4Cs of the 21st century standard: Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and Innovation.


  • Focuses on 21st century skills, content knowledge, and expertise
  • Builds understanding across and among core subjects and 21st century interdisciplinary themes
  • Emphasizes deep understanding, rather than shallow knowledge
  • Engages students with the real world data, tools, and experts they will encounter in life
  • Allows for multiple measures of mastery

Learning and Innovation Skills
Learning and innovation skills increasingly are being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Communication and Collaboration

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Today we live in a technology and media-suffused environment with: 1) access to an abundance of information, 2) rapid changes in technology tools, and 3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology.

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Social-Emotional Learning

Space Messengers is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts

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