The Art of Applying STEM: Why STEAM Matters

Intentionality of design is an important component of any successful project. It means understanding the customers’ needs to ensure the final product meets, or exceeds, those needs in the customers’ own context and constraints. Wouldn’t it be great if these were baked-in at the beginning? If we intentionally designed products, services, and processes not only to be useful, but preferred? We are great at designing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM, into products, but not as great with design from the actual users’ perspective. Design Thinking is not new, but through “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math), its gaining recognition and validation in more aspects of our lives – in the things we use and how we use them – next iPhone, Golden Gate Bridge, pacemaker, insulin pump, etc.

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Effective advising, just as an effective implementation of STEAM in any environment, requires empathy and understanding commensurate with technical credibility. The result? Together, the NATO team was building a system that was Afghan-appropriate, effective and sustainable. In the end, that is what ultimately mattered.

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Founder & CEO

Matthew Fritz is a leader and mentor in the field of complex organizational change, emotional intelligence, and organization strategy. A successful DoD senior-acquisition program manager and test leader, Matt has earned documented success in the areas of test and evaluation, assessment, technology development and flight operations. He has specialized experience in cost, schedule and performance management and is an active duty Field-Grade Officer with command-experience in the United States Air Force. Matt is also a certified acquisition professional, as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer/Practitioner. He is the Author of an instructional book entitled, “Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success” and actively blogs with other military leaders at, as well as his personal blog at He and his wife, Stacy, enjoy life with their daughter and son in New Mexico.

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