2017 STEAM Act Requires Art and Design Education in STEM Subjects

On July 20, 2017 the newest addition to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design, math) legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Congressman James R. Langevin (D-RI) authored the legislation
(H.R. 3344) to require the National Science Foundation to promote the
integration of art and design in STEM Education. The original
STEM Education Act was passed in 2015. The 2017 legislation is for the purpose of integrating art and design in STEM education to promote creativity and innovation. This new language of the STEM to STEAM Act of 2017 emphasizes the central importance of art and
design education together with science, technology, engineering and math rather than having these disciplines taught strictly in separate
enrichment and after school programs as has historically been done in most public education school systems. The legislation is important for expansion of STEAM Education throughout the United States.

Check back to this posting for further developments as this legislation makes its way through the legislative process. Contact your U.S. Congressperson to ask them to join the Congressional STEAM Caucus and support this historic and important legislation.

MarylandByDesign Supports the
Maryland Education
Development Collaborative

Roundtable Discussion
Tuesday July 18th, 2017
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

STEAM-Design Education

On May 27, 2017 legislation was enacted by the State of Maryland to establish the Maryland Education Development Collaborative. This new organization creates an opportunity to promote and enhance 21st-century learning and socioeconomic diversity in Maryland’s Public Schools and establishes an Advisory Council to provide advice on matters relating to 21st-century learning, data collection and sharing.

Join Designers, Design Educators, Design Leaders,
Design Thinkers, Maker Space Leaders, Design Policy Makers
and Maryland Legislators

Bring your ideas, experiences, stories, goals, wishes, and dreams for making STEAM-Design Education central to education in Maryland’s Public Schools for all K-12 students. The roundtable is an opportunity to contribute your views about STEAM-Design Education to the
Maryland Education Development Collaborative.

Please prepare a 3-5 minute presentation to give during
this discussion.

RSVP: Please respond to designpolicymaryland@yahoo.com by July 14th to confirm your attendance

Location: Maryland Institute College of Art,
Center for Social Design
Fred Lazarus IV Building
131 W. North Avenue, Room 170
Baltimore, MD

Parking: On Street Parking available on Maryland Avenue

Questions?: Please send them to designpolicymaryland@yahoo.com



Senate Bill 908: Maryland Education Development
Collaborative was enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution-Chapter 849 on May 27, 2017. This establishes the Collaborative as of October 1, 2017. 

Innovation in public education was among the many education related issues discussed by legislators during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session, which concluded on April 10th this year.  Design driven innovation in education is an aim of  Senate Bill 908: Maryland Education Development Collaborative-Established. This legislation received a unanimous vote in the Maryland Senate on March 16th, 2017, and passed the House of Delegates by a vote of 95 to 44. Design is typically associated with innovation. A body of research exists showing proof that design is consistently the source of innovation in any organizational system.

A working group from the MarylandByDesign submitted testimony in support of the Maryland Education Development Collaborative explaining how design education and STEAM programming in public schools would be one of the key factors in innovating public school education in Maryland. As an example, in 2014 Rhode Island Department of Education used an Ambassador Design Team to develop a strategic plan for elementary and secondary education to advance learning and achievement for all Rhode Island Public School Students. The Ambassador Design Team used design thinking as a way to develop the strategic plan.

MarylandByDesign’s Working Group would be one of the many participants working together within the Maryland Education Development Collaborative. MarylandbyDesign can contribute a design driven innovation approach for making recommendations to innovate Maryland’s Public Schools by developing an implementation plan for design education and STEAM Programming to make design part of every child’s educational experience. This is only one of the many aspects of MarylandByDesign’s Design Policy. MarylandByDesign has as its overall mission to define design in all of its manifestations in the State of Maryland.

View MarylandByDesign’s testimony  for SB908 Testimony 3-21-17

U.S. Congressional STEAM Caucus

All Members of the House of Representatives are encouraged to join the Congressional STEAM Caucus

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici chairs The STEAM Caucus launched in January 2013 to increase the understanding of the
importance of design to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

As of 1ST SESSION 67 Members/27 States as of February 27, 2015

The Caucus aims “to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of a well rounded education to our country’s future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs.”

The following Congressional Representatives participate on the STEAM Caucus:

CALIFORNIA: Tony Cárdenas, Julia Brownley, Susan Davis, Michael Honda. Jared Huffman, Zoe Lofgren, Doris Matsui, Scott Peters, Adam Schiff, Jackie Speier, Mark Takano.

COLORADO: Jared Polis


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Eleanor Holmes Norton

FLORIDA: Corrine Brown, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Ted Yoho

GEORGIA: Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, David Scott

GUAM: Madeleine Bordallo

HAWAII: Tulsi Gabbard

ILLINOIS: Danny Davis, Rodney Davis, Mike Quigley, Janice Schakowsky

INDIANA: Susan Brooks, André Carson

IOWA: Dave Loebsack

MAINE: Chellie Pingree

MARYLAND: (membership pending)

MASSACHUSETTS: Michael Capuano, Bill Keating, Joseph Kennedy Stephen Lynch, James McGovern, Richard Neal,

MINNESOTA: Keith Ellison, Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson

NEVADA: Dina Titus

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Ann McLane Kuster

NEW MEXICO: Ben Ray Luján

NEW YORK: Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Charles Rangel, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko


OHIO: Tim Ryan, Pat Tiberi

OREGON: Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio

PENNSYLVANIA: Matthew Cartwright, Scott Perry, Joe Pitts

RHODE ISLAND: David Cicilline, James Langevin

TEXAS: Lloyd Doggett, Blake Farenthold

VIRGINIA: Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott

WASHINGTON: Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer


For more information, please contact Adrian Anderson in the office of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici at 202-225-0855 or Adrian.Anderson@mail.house.gov.

Fab Labs: Maryland Joins a World Wide Network

Maryland is now home to two Fab Labs open to the public, Fab Lab Baltimore in Catonsville, Maryland and Montgomery College Fab Lab. What is a Fab Lab? A Fab Lab or fabrication laboratory is a laboratory space set up for designers to realize their ideas in the form of prototypes by using technologies usually available only to large scale mass production projects. The Fab Lab makes it possible for designers to use specialized tools such as 3D printers, rapid protoypers, printed circuit board milling and etching machines, and various types of cutters for sheet metal: laser, plasma and wet jet. There are currently 107 Fab Labs in the U.S. and Canada. The Open Works Maker Space in Baltimore City is planning the next Maryland based Fab Lab to open in September 2016.

The Fab Lab at Haystack Mountain School for Craft in Deer Isle, Maine is a premier example of the interaction between designer’s ability to make things by hand and using technology, one of the key policy goals of the Maryland Design Excellence & Innovation Commission. The activity in the Fab Lab at Haystack is the basis for studying and identifying innovations in both manual creativity and technologies. A more in depth case study is being written to explain how this interaction takes place at Haystack. Please check back for the rest of this story.

Discussions to Establish the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission to Continue Among Members of the Maryland General Assembly

The outcome for the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission legislation in the 2016 Maryland General Assembly was not dissimilar to the 2015 Session. The exceptional panels who presented testimony opened the possibility of more understanding among the members of both the Senate Finance and House Economic Matters Committees. The bills have now been held over until the 2017 Session so supporters of the legislation within the design community can negotiate solid collaborative agreements, especially with Open Works Maker Space that is due to open this fall. There will be more opportunities to interact with Maryland Legislators to help them gain further understanding of the value of design for growth and the quality of life in the State.

The collaboration between Open Works and the Maryland Design Excellence & Innovation Commission will be a mutually beneficial arrangement, since the Commission is in need of physical space for prototyping, and the possibility that new products may emerge to be licensed and produced within Maryland. Similarly, Open Works is in need of professional design guidance to develop design research and design-based instructional programs to be responsive to people’s need for design training.

Periodic updates about summer briefings with legislators during 2016 will be announced on this website. Volunteers are needed to meet face-to-face with legislators in Annapolis or in the legislator’s home district office  to speak with them in more detail about the necessity of design and its importance to innovation and growth in Maryland.

2016 Maryland General Assembly Considering Legislation for Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission

The 2016 Maryland General Assembly is now considering legislation for establishing the Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission. This is the second year the General Assembly is discussing legislation to establish the Commission. Senate Bill 429 was introduced in the Senate Finance Committee on February 1, 2016, and House Bill 548 was introduced in the House of Delegates Economic Matters Committee on February 3, 2016.

The Senate Finance and House Economic Matters Committees are reviewing the legislation, and have heard evidence from the public about the mission, goals and efforts of Maryland Design Excellence and Innovation Commission. The Commission, which will meet several times a year under a five year design policy plan to be set by the members of the Commission, would implement design led innovation to improve the quality of life for all Marylanders. If established by legislation, the Commission would begin operating as of October 1, 2016.


Committee Bill Hearings
The Maryland General Assembly held public Committee bill hearings on February 16, 2016 in the Senate Finance Committee and February 17, 2016 in the House Economic Matters Committee to hear statements from the public about the legislation. The Committee hearing can be viewed on-line through these links to the Maryland General Assembly website:
Senate Finance Committee Public Hearing
House Economic Matters Committee Public Hearing

Submitting Written Statements 
Written statements are still being accepted by Maryland General Assembly legislators, and can be submitted to legislators until there is a vote held on the bills in the Senate and House Committees. If you are able to provide written support for the legislation, the guidelines are available here for the Senate Finance Committee and here for the House Economic Matters Committee. The same statements should be made to both Committees. Text of the Senate Finance legislation is available here, and for the House of Delegates legislation here.  A statement guide/template is available for the Senate Finance Committee here and for the House Economic Matters Committee here to use for composing a written statement. Anyone can submit a written statement by sending it to
MarylandbyDesign at designpolicymaryland@yahoo.com.

Contact Legislators about the Maryland Design Excellence
Commission Legislation

If you are a resident of Maryland, contacting your State Senator and Delegates from your home district is one of the best ways to voice your views about establishing the Maryland Design Excellence  and Innovation Commission. To find out legislators who represents you, go to the search page here and enter your home address.


There has been tremendous attention given to STEM education and the higher earning potential for degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math as compared to design. A recent survey conducted and published by the Washington Post reveals very little difference in earning potential during the first 5 to 10 years of a person’s career once they have earned a STEM degree versus a design degree, and in fact many degrees in the humanities (which would include design disciplines) earn more. The conclusions when making comparisons between a bachelor’s design degree as compared to a bachelor’s degree in science (biology), technology (information technology), engineering (electrical engineering) or math, shows an insignificant earning difference between a biological sciences degree and a design degree during the first 10 years of experience after earning these degrees. (Click on the graph to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 11.20.20 AM

MarylandbyDesign and The Maryland Open Data Project

MarylandbyDesign is dedicated to improving the understanding of design’s impact throughout the State of Maryland. One way to measure this impact is through various data and index indicators. Since 2009, Maryland has used the General Progress Indicator (GPI) to measure various aspects of environmental sustainability which is a significant  aspect of all design practices. The General Progress Indicator measures a different set of factors as compared to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Open Data Project provides another resource for measurement of design as a factor in the States economic growth related to innovation. One of the goals for the soon to be established Maryland Design Excellence Commission is to develop an indicator for how design impacts the quality of life throughout the State of Maryland which would be included in the State’s GPI.

Industrial Designers Society of America Supports Legislation for Maryland Design Excellence Commission

In early April, 2015, Daniel Martinage, Executive Director of
the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) expressed
the full support of the legislation to establish the Maryland
Design Excellence Commission on behalf of the IDSA’s National Members.

The IDSA represents thousands of members around the world, across the United States and in the State of Maryland. The IDSA’s Executive Director stressed the importance of passing the legislation as an important investment in the current and future quality of life for all Maryland Citizens. He explained the extraordinary contribution of designers to innovations that in many instances are live saving, using the examples of medical equipment, child safety seats, computers, mobile phones and GPS.

See the IDSA’s website for the announcement.

Citymart helps U.S. cities rethink public procurement to unlock civic innovation and citizen engagement

Public procurement by local governments accounts for the world’s single largest budget dedicated to improving our communities – roughly $1 trillion annually in the U.S. alone. Despite this staggering potential, public procurement the world over is plagued by an opaque, confusing, and often impenetrable process.

In traditional procurement, companies bid to develop solutions prescribed by the city using requests for proposals (RFPs). Often, RFPs are loaded with specifications, terms and conditions, and legal clauses that make it almost impossible for small businesses or entrepreneurs to participate. As a result, most contracts are awarded to only a handful of large vendors who are well-versed in navigating a complex system. In Barcelona, for example a traditional $1.5 million procurement budget attracts interest from only 20 vendors. This leaves out a wide swath of potential sources of innovation and holds governments back from delivering services most effectively to citizens.

Citymart, a global organization focused on civic innovation has found a way to open up the government procurement process. They set out to replace the hundreds of pages of detailed specifications in RFPs with a simple problem statement and explanation of the desired result. With this problem-based approach, Citymart is able to help cities identify and frame community needs in a user-friendly RFP process. The bidding is then uploaded to the CItymart online collaborative open-source platform for anyone to access.

Citymart’s RFP process levels the playing field in public contracts for everyone from global vendors to social entrepreneurs, designers, and even residents. In Barcelona, a recent $1.5 million RFP published with Citymart attracted 55,000 citizens and entrepreneurs to deliver solutions to combat bicycle theft. The process not only helps cities deliver better quality services at lower costs, it also accomplishes this without increasing risks for the administration. Most importantly, it gets more citizens to engage directly with everyday acts of city governance, reinforcing transparency and accountability in the public sphere.

To date, more than 50 cities have adopted Citymart, including London, Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco, Fukuoka and Mexico City. Organized in a #citiesshare alliance, these partner cities work together with the aim to open at least 1 percent of their annual procurement through Citymart. By actively engaging vendors, communities, organizations and experts, Citymart’s innovation network creates an open knowledge resource for sharing across cities around the world, promising efficiencies by learning from the experiences in other cities.

The platform was recent awarded funding from the Knight Foundation, which will help Citymart expand its operations to the U.S. later this year. They plan to partner with four U.S. cities in adopting their problem-based and collaborative online procurement approach.

Watch Citymart founder, Sascha Haselmayer ‘s inspiring talk at on “Open, Agile, and Empathic Cities” on TEDxHamburg.de to learn more about their approach.

-Posted by Maren Maier, Founder of www.creative-states.org