Transform STEM into STE(A)M by John Maeda
The following article is from John Maeda. In this article in SEED magazine he shares his personal views on moving from STEM to STEAM.
“After two decades as a student and faculty member at MIT, my newest experience at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has reawakened me to the world of physical creation. RISD represents the ultimate culture of makers. There is no greater integrity, no greater goal achieved, than an idea articulately expressed through something made with your hands. We call this constant dialogue between eye, mind, and hand “critical thinking—critical making.” It’s an education in getting your hands dirty, in understanding why you made what you made, and owning the impact of the work in the world. It’s what artists and designers do.”
“And so I’ve begun to wonder recently whether STEM needs something to give it some STE(A)M—an “A” for art between the engineering and the math to ground the bits and bytes in the physical world before us, to lift them up and make them human. What if America approached innovation with more than just technology? What if, just like STEM is made up of science, technology, engineering and math, we had IDEA, made of intuition, design, emotion, and art—all the things that make us humans feel, well, human? It seems to me that if we use this moment to reassess our values, putting just a little bit of our humanity back into America’s innovation engines will lead to the most meaningful kind of progress. By doing so, we will find a way back to integrating thinking with making and being and feeling and living so that left- and right-brained creativity can lift our economy back into the sky.”