STEM is better with an “A”! In fact, we believe the “A” is inseparable–it was always there. Production and manufacturing, whether entirely pragmatic or wholly commercial, can not exist without design, and design is an Art.

The TeachRock STEAM chapter examines the connections between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in popular music, and introduces students to many of the theories, practices, and methods regularly used in these fields. Additionally, lessons explore instances where music, science, and advocacy come together to create a better world.

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The Evolution of Sound Recording

How did multitrack recording technologies enable musicians to create a form of music that could only be realized in the studio?
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The Birth of the Microphone

How did the development of microphones in the 20th century change the way people make and listen to music?
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The Impact of the Electric Guitar

How did the electrification, amplification and design of the guitar facilitate its emergence as a dominant instrument of popular music?
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Sound Waves, Analog Synthesis and Popular Culture

How did synthesizers allow musicians to create new sounds and how did those sounds reflect American culture throughout the 20th century?
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How Records and Radio Shaped American Culture

How did changes in the technology of record manufacturing effect popular music, radio, and the people who consumed both?
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Designing Album Covers with Color Theory

What is the science behind color theory, and how is it used in fashion and album cover design?
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Making Music Videos with a Homemade Projector

How can one reproduce the effects seen in the music video for Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey’s song “The Middle” using a homemade projector?
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Cleaning up the Plastic Beach (Middle School/High School Version)

How is plastic made, how does it affect our marine environments, and how can plastic waste be eliminated?
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Cleaning up the Plastic Beach (Elementary School Version)

What is plastic, how is it harmful for the environment, and how can it be used more responsibly?
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Designing an Electric Guitar with Shapes

How can shapes be used to design an electric guitar?
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The Guitar: A Musical Transducer

How can the guitar help us understand the scientific principle of transduction?