STEM to STEAM in Education

Is it necessary to incorporate Art and Design with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in education? I believe that Art and design has always been present but is just not fully acknowledged. I remember teaching my young children to read and recognize geometric shapes. I can tell them verbally that a circle is a simple closed shape. A round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the center). My kids are smart so they got it really fast. Or maybe they understood the idea clearly because I drew them a picture of a circle! The image reinforces the lesson. Which reminds me of the phrases “the image is etched in my mind” or “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Being able to visualize things that are not visible is powerful. A complex notion can be easily understood with an image. So the push to recognize and connect Art & Design to STEM is essential.

Circle with Segments Photo/Wikipedia               A circle (black) which is measured by its circumference (C), diameter (D) in cyan, and radius (R) in red; its centre (O) is in magenta.

Here’s another example of art being already present in STEM (this time math or statistics) is the pie chart. A circular statistical graphic which is divided into slices to illustrate numerical proportion. And the slices are using different colors too to show various data points.  There are other examples that I can think of, but you get the point.

Pie Chart Photo. Pixabay

Fortunately, the STEAM movement has already begun. The movement is championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).  I encourage you to visit their website to see the movements objectives, to know more and to be involved.

I found two TED talks about the relationship of Science and Art.  Are you curious to find out how a neuron, Ben Franklin’s Math Puzzle or Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements might look as a sculpture? If you watch the following video, you will see it for yourself.

We all know what a sound is like, some may know how a sound is made but do you know how it looks? The following video will show you exactly how and it’s beautiful. I promise you’ll like it and the speaker’s accent is kinda cute too!

Do you think Arts & Design should be incorporated in STEM? Please leave a comment and let me know.


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