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What Is the Value of Art Education?

Last week while attending the National Art Education Association conference in Seattle, Wash., in my capacity as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, I was a little bit surprised when some art teachers asked, “Why are you guys here?”...

Ode to the Brain! by Symphony of Science

"Ode to the Brain" is the ninth episode in the Symphony of Science music video series. Through the powerful words of scientists Carl Sagan, Robert Winston, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jill Bolte Taylor, Bill Nye, and Oliver Sacks, it covers different aspects the brain including its evolution,...

The Art of Science

A short fundraising video written and directed The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. The assignment was to create a compelling and memorable video which the Hutch would show, in person, to couples and individuals who were prepared to write a check for...

Art Science Fusion Program, UC Davis

A new paradigm for education is sprouting in the Northern California landscape. Students in the Art Science Fusion Program at the University of California, Davis, connect the patterns, harmonies, symbols and perceptions that are shared across borders and disciplines. ...

Engineering vs. Liberal Arts: Who’s Right—Bill or Steve?

When students asked what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I used to say engineering, mathematics, and science—because an education in these fields is the prerequisite for innovation, and because engineers make the best entrepreneurs....

Science Teachers Love Art

John M. EgerHuffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy,
San Diego State

Posted: March 21, 2011 02:14 PM

There is a growing debate in America about art and science.

Explaining the Universe: Why Arts Education and Science Education Need Each Other author, scientist, and educator, Alan Friedman, says, “I am a science educator who finds this story (of the Universe) deeply fascinating and profound.” But most children do not know this story. ‘The solution is not just finding more good science teachers and developing good science curricula, but also encouraging more and better arts education.”

Recently, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), issued a paper called “Reaching Students Through STEM and the Arts.”

The paper states, “Teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are discovering that by adding an “A” — the arts — to STEM, learning will pick up STEAM.”

They are of course talking about former president George W. Bush’s initiative called the America Competes Act, also known as the STEM initiative for Science Technology Engineering and Math.

That bill authorized $151 million to help students earn a bachelor’s degree, math and science teachers to get teaching credentials, and provide additional money to help align kindergarten through grade 12 math and science curricula to better prepare students for college.

Now, three years later, more and more people are asking why just math and science? Why not the arts, too?

Turning STEM into STREAM: Writing as an Essential Component of Science Education

By: Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein
Date: March 16, 2011

There is a movement afoot to turn the acronym STEM—which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—into STEAM by adding the arts. Science educators have finally begun to realize that the skills required by innovative STEM professionals include arts and crafts thinking. Visual thinking; recognizing and forming patterns; modeling; getting a “feel” for systems; and the manipulative skills learned by using tools, pens, and brushes are all demonstrably valuable for developing STEM abilities. And the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts have gotten the message: formal meetings between the two agencies have begun in order to figure out how to fund productive research and teaching at the intersection of these sets of disciplines.

Since words are our primary means of communicating, anyone who has not mastered their creative use is simply underprepared for any discipline, including STEM subjects.

The agencies also realized that adding the arts to STEM is not enough. We also need to add the thinking skills embodied in reading and writing. STEAM may condense into STREAM!

Writing, like any other art, teaches the entire range of “tools for thinking” that are required to be creative in any discipline (Root-Bernstein and Root-Bernstein 1999). To be a lucid writer, one must observe acutely; abstract out the key information; recognize and create patterns; use analogies and metaphors to model in words some reality that takes place in another dimension; translate sensations, feelings, and hunches into clearly communicable forms; and combine all this sensual information into words that create not only understanding but also delight, remorse, anger, desire, or any other human emotion that will drive understanding into action.

Think about it: what we’ve just described is what a scientist or mathematician does too.

Princeton’s – Art of Science

The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art. These practices both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts. Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own...