skip to content

STEAM Programs

Classroom of children using computers with the word STEAM (the acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is on the whiteboard at the front of the room

We are committed to the advancement of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math – education.  Originally referred to as STEM, "art" has been integrated as a critical design element that helps take advanced conceptual ideas and transforms them into real, usable tools. Our focus on advancing STEAM education encompasses programs for both students and educators. 

Bucks IU Fab Lab

An energy efficient light bulb surrounded by the words FAB LAB Powered by the Bucks IU

We are very excited to be able to bring STEAM education directly to the students of Bucks County with our Mobile Fab Lab (Fabrication Laboratory) and to offer a wide variety of events and activities at our Fab Lab Center.  Click Here for Fab Lab Programs and Information.

Student STEAM Events and Programs

Interest in STEAM education is created by providing students with the means to play, create, learn, and invent so that each child’s full potential and interest can be developed in these areas of study
STEM Design Challenge written out with icons representing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

STEM Design Challenge

Student teams, grouped by grades 4-5 and 6-8 are given a specific design challenge for which they must provide a journal documenting their concepts and plans, as well as a final design blueprint. Then they must successfully assemble their creation for judging. Winners advance to the state competition.  This is open to public and non-public school teams in Bucks County.

This year’s Challenge will be held in a new format, with the initial round continuing to be virtual with no limit to participation. All teams that want to participate will be invited to register! New for the 2024 competition, Round 1 judges will be invited to a one-day judging session at the Fab Lab Center. All participating schools will be required to send a judge to the judging day.

The top 15 teams from each competition (elementary and middle school) will then be invited to an in-person final round of competition at the Fab Lab Center.  

Important dates for this year’s STEM Design Challenge are outlined below.

  • Late Fall 2023: The 2024 STEM Design Challenge task will be released
  • January 8 - January 19, 2024: STEM Design Challenge Team Registration Opens
  • March 1, 2024: STEM Design Challenge Projects Due via Google Folders (links will be sent by February 10 to Chaperones)
  • March 5, 2024: Judging Day! All participating schools will be required to send a judge to the in-person judging day at the Fab Lab Center.
  • March 6, 2024: Announcement of Top 12 Teams for Elementary and Middle School – Invitations to STEM Design Challenge Finals Will Be Sent
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024: Middle School STEM Design Challenge Finals at the Fab Lab Center
  • Friday, April 12, 2024: Elementary STEM Design Challenge Finals at the Fab Lab Center

For questions regarding the STEM Design Challenge, please email

MAD Com HS Logo for 2024 with name and design tools elements


MAD Com Middle School Logo for 2024

The PA Media And Design Competition (MADCom) is an annual event that highlights Pennsylvania students’ application skills, creativity and knowledge. This Media And Design Competition is for middle and high school students and allows them to unleash their creativity, convey information dynamically, apply state standards, and collaborate to create innovative projects that feature their application skills and computer knowledge. Categories include Graphic Design and Logo, Digital Movie, Website Design, Programming, and 3D Design and Animation. The Bucks IU will facilitate the competition at the local level with winners advancing to the state competition.

Details on this competition and how schools can register can be found here: Click here to go to the state website for the PA Media And Design Competition.

PA Governor's STEM Competition

Expanding and enhancing STEM learning for students (our future PA workforce) has been a top priority of the current administration. The Governor's STEM Competition creates opportunities for students to take the STEM skills they've learned in the classroom and put them to use. Working with their community, students are required to research, develop, and present a device or project that can improve the lives of Pennsylvanians and accomplish a series of practical tasks that can fulfill real-world needs. The competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12 who attend a public, charter, or private school, a career and technical education center, or are homeschooled in Pennsylvania.  The Bucks IU will recognize the local winners.

Details on this competition and how schools can register can be found here: Click here to go to the state website for the Governor's STEM Competition.

PA Invention Convention

Creativity, critical thinking, innovation, teamwork, and communication skills are recognized as the skills that prepare students for increasingly complex school, work, and life environments. The Pennsylvania Invention Convention gives students (K-12) recognition for creating inventions to solve real world problems.  For details on the program and to register, click here.

Educator STEAM Programs

As we continue to add to our STEAM programs for students, the Bucks IU also ensures that our county educators have access to knowledge and tools that will allow them to successfully drive student interest and advancement.    

PA SEED Ecosystem - A collaboration with the PA Department of Education (PDE) and Bucks,

PA Seed Ecosystem

Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery County IUs, PA SEED provides the architecture for cross-sector STEAM education.  It harnesses contributions from schools, out-of-school programs, STEAM expert institutions (e.g. science centers), the private sector, and community-based organizations into a symbiosis providing unique STEAM education opportunities.

Customizable Curriculum Support and Program Quality Reviews - The Bucks IU STEAM team can provide assistance with the development and review of programs and curriculums designed to best address specific STEAM area(s) of study.  The objective is to support districts, teachers, and schools so that they may best achieve their STEAM goals. 

Advisory Councils -The STEAM Leadership Council serves as the county-wide leadership arm of the regional PA SEED Ecosystem and includes representatives from K-12 public and nonpublic schools, workforce partners, STEAM learning organizations, and community organizations.  There are also advisory council groups for each individual content area of STEAM who come together to collaborate, network, and receive of-the-moment professional learning. 

Professional Learning - We educate the educator with programs that include coding, best practices in visual arts, math, science, teaching and learning, elementary engineering programs, and

Engineering is Elementary logo with text and EIE in an orange boxSTEAM integration.  The Bucks IU is a certified provider of Engineering is Elementary (EIE) Professional Development.