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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 are invited to register! The top 12 teams from each competition (elementary and middle school) will be invited to an in-person final round of competition at the Fab Lab Center.  

Important Details and Dates:

  • REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for School Teams!  Use these links to register your team:
  • Click here for the 2023 STEM Design Challenge
    • Teams may only use K’Nex pieces this year. (This was a state-level decision.)
    • The state competition will return to an in-person competition this year in Harrisburg. More details will be shared with winning teams.
    • Middle School Challenge – the additional challenge has been added back this year (use the  2023 STEM Design Challenge link above for more information)
  • February 15, 2023 - STEM Design Challenge Projects Due via Google Folders (links will be sent by February 10 to Chaperones)
  • March 1, 2023: Announcement of Top 12 Teams for Elementary and Middle School – Invitations to STEM Design Challenge Finals Will Be Sent
  • March 23, 2023: Middle School STEM Design Challenge Finals at the Fab Lab Center
  • March 24, 2023: Elementary STEM Design Challenge Finals at the Fab Lab Center

For questions regarding the STEM Design Challenge, please email


MADCom HS 2023 winning design

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.  In 2021, there were 9 high school level projects and 22 middle school level projects, with 2 teams placing at the state level!  The Bucks IU will hold 2 informational sessions on September 29, 2022 and October 5, 2022 for teachers or leaders who would like to learn more about participating! Use this link for more information and to register.


PA Governor Seal
Governor's STEM Competition

The Governor's STEM Competition requires student teams (grades 9-12) to research, design, and present a device or project that can make the quality of life better for Pennsylvanian's. Teams must collaborate with a local member of their community or a business and industry partner to help identify a challenge faced by Pennsylvanian's along with designing a solution to that challenge. The Governor's STEM Competition will provide teams with an authentic experience that applies skills learned in and outside the classroom, opportunities to learn new skills or refine existing skills desired for careers in STEM, and an opportunity to explore career pathways.  All important dates and competition information may be found on the Governor's STEM Competition website. 

The Bucks IU STEAM Team is here to support Bucks County teams that may have questions/needs as they work. The Team is also available to meet and provide feedback before the submission deadline.

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.