by Phillip Le
Research shows that infusing art into STEM learning can actually cultivate a culture that embraces science, technology, engineering and math, but with a creative engine to power it all forward. Idit Harel Caperton illustrates that this is not just a hypothesis, but a reality worth embracing.
STEM learning—that is, education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—could well benefit from an infusion of art and design. Adding an A for art to STEM would give our technical and scientific education “some steam,” said my MIT colleague John Maeda…
The possible combination of left brain and right brain processing would allow logical, systematic approaches uninhibited due to the imaginative process instigated by creative pathos. By allowing students to experiment in the realm of video game development, they not only touch all aspects of STEM, but by virtue of the medium, approach the whole affair through the spectacles of an artist.
Teaching students the principles of STEM with a dollop of art integrates procedure that, educationally speaking, is lacking:
…in another school, Team Furyunleash22, designed a game team members called Paleo Quest. Early in their game design process, these Globaloria students learned to draw their game concepts, videotape the concepts, and test their game structure with future players. Based on the critique they receive on their prototype, Team Furyunleash22 modified their ideas. They learned to move from an idea to drawing a prototype, then to designing an interactive demo that shows how the game will look and work.
Too often, the cocoon of art experimentation exists in a vaccuum. While fun and certainly a fertile ground for making mistakes and thus learning from them, as sophistication in artistic attributes grow, implementing a workflow—moving from sketching, prototyping, and then designing—is an essential element, as of now, only staring to come to fruition.
I’m an advocate in not only teaching knowledge, but also the principles by which that knowledge can blossom. Caperton’s pursuit in turning STEM learning into STEAM learning is one I fully appreciate and I look forward to hearing more about the development of this initiative.