Benefits of a STEAM collaboration in Newark, New Jersey: Volcano simulation through a glass-making experience

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A simulated physical model of volcanic processes using a glass art studio greatly enhanced enthusiasm and learning among urban, middle- to high-school aged, largely underrepresented minority students in Newark, New Jersey. The collaboration of a geoscience department with a glass art studio to create a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational experience increased strong interest in learning about volcanoes by 40.7% and learning of volcanic concepts by up to 92% across four major topic areas. In particular, using hands-on, interactive experiences, activities effectively informed and enthused students about the heat of a volcano and lava, lava flows and the dangers they pose, forms of falling volcanic bombs, volatiles in lava, and interaction of lava with water. Teachers found that students remained highly motivated by the experience even after their return to school. The Glass Volcano Experience has the potential to constitute a critical incident in encouraging students to pursue geoscience as an interest and/or profession. Such innovative collaborations of unlikely partners has the potential of creating new and innovative learning experiences for urban students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to witness geologic phenomena in situ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


  • Analog models
  • STEAM education
  • Urban youth


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