Stem into steam


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The importance of adding the arts to STEM education, specifically for libraries.

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  • History of STEM education
  • Quick Facts on STEM Education in the United States78% of high school graduates did not meet the readiness benchmark levels for one or more entrylevel college courses in mathematics, science, reading and EnglishThe World Economic Forum ranks the United States 48th in quality of mathematics and science educationThe United States ranks 27th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineeringAlmost 33% of U.S. manufacturing companies responding to a recent survey say they are suffering from some level of skills shortagesSTEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupationsWorkforce ProjectionsThe STEM occupational category is one of the fastest-growing in the economy. Unfortunately the U.S. is currently not producing enough STEM talent to satisfy market demands. By 2018:92% of traditional STEM jobs will be for those with at least some postsecondary education and training Roughly 35% of the STEM workforce will be comprised of those with sub-baccalaureate training (i.e. Associate’s degrees, certificates, and industry-based certificates)Close to 65% of STEM job openings will be for those with Bachelor’s degrees and aboveAs indicated by the diagram below, students and workers are opting out of STEM degrees and careers at different stages for a variety of reasons. As a result, American employers are forced to rely on foreignborn STEM talent
  • What are the arts that make up the A?The objectives of the STEAM movement are to:transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEMencourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 educationinfluence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovationIn fact, at the so-called “Oberlin 80,” the nation’s most selective liberal arts colleges, a higher percentage of students go on to graduate and professional degrees in STEM fields than is the case at the nation’s major research universities February 25, 2007 article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Kate Pielemeier called “Human resource experts say workers could benefit more from art than from math and science”, artists have unique ways of solving business problems, because they are not hindered by conventional business practices and rules.  (Post Gazette) The article also refers to Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind:  Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future”, in which the author argues that the master’s in fine arts is the new MBA. 
  • Why do we need to add them?STEM is based on skills generally using the left half of the brain and thus is logic driven. Much research and data shows that activities like Arts, which uses the right side of the brain supports and fosters creativity, which is essential to innovation. The Right Brain Initiative non-profit is one of the many initiatives exposing the left-brain bias in education. They explain, “brains come with two sides for a reason. They need each other. They fill in each other’s blanks. One is messy by plan. The other regimented. One is linear. The other bounces off walls. One reasons. The other feels. But what happens when they work together is magical. Magical enough to make kids connect, achieve, aspire, and succeed. In a future that will require the full measure of our thinking, it’s no time to leave kids half-interested, half-motivated, half-engaged, half-ready.”
  • January 30, 2013—A bipartisan team of members of Congress have launched the Congressional STEAM Caucus. The STEAM Caucus, a popular acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, which “aims to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences—and their intersections—to our country’s future generations. Caucus members will work to increase awareness of the importance of STEAM education and explore new strategies to advocate for STEAM programs.”
  • A meta-analysis of ten years of SAT scores has confirmed the relationship between the study of music and student performance on standardized mathematics tests.  And, another study has shown that students involved in orchestra and band through grade 12 performed better in math than peers not involved in music. (Catteral, Critical Links) 
  • Jogging jacket that generates power to produce light at night, scarf for cyclist that deploys as an air bag, e-textiles
  • What doesn’t work
  • Lucy Spelman who helps Gorillas in Rwanda also teaches a class called The Art of Science Communication. Author Illustrator David Maccualay teams up with medical professionals to teach Reimagining Medical Communications.
  • Lesson plans, national and state art standards, How to for educators, special section for students and families with daily art challenges
  • The Science of Art and Technology: year-long course offered by The Art Institute of Chicago to Chicago Public School science teachers interested in exploring the relationship between science and art within a museum setting. Focused mostly on the physics of light and color
  • Right Brain Initiative Teaching the Water Cycle through ballet, Teaching sound from the symphony
  • Examples: Gear Ratios, tornadoes, painting with trees,
  • Think about the arts when you are working on STEM topics. Think about how to engage that right brain to make these things more memorable and more relatable.
  • Stem into steam

    2. 2. There has been an increased emphasis placed on STEM (ScienceTechnology Education and Mathematics) Education. 78% of High School graduates in the U.S did not meet benchmark levels for entry level college courses in the subjects. As a result, the U.S. must rely on foreign STEM talent. Image Available Through Creative Commons License: /
    3. 3. “Without beauty, creativity, and the deep, sustaining truths of history, philosophy, andliterature, …STEM learning is joyless.” -John Lithgow
    4. 4. Image Available Through Creative Commons License:
    5. 5. We need to recognize the different ways people learn and integrate both into programs.Photo licensed from CreativeCommons user TZA:
    6. 6. Photo from Creative Commons License:
    7. 7. Video Commons License from Trektrack:
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    9. 9. Focal Point How it relates to musicNumber and Operations: Counting beats(“how many” inDeveloping an a rhythmicunderstanding of whole pattern)numbers, including Comparing beats(“more,”concepts of correspondence, “less”)counting,cardinality, and comparisonGeometry:Identifying shapes Notation (notes are “higher”and describing or “lower”spatial relationships on the staff) Organizing patterns ofsoundsMeasurement: Identifying Tonality (“higher” or “lower”)measurable Pace (“faster” or “slower”attributes and comparing rhythms)objects by usingthese attributes National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2008). Curriculum Focal Pointsfor Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics.
    10. 10. Photo courtesy of ViaMoi through Creative Commons License:
    11. 11. Photo Courtesty Stef Delbeque through Creative Commons License:
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    13. 13. Photo courtesy Creative Commons License:
    14. 14. Photo available through Creative Commons License:
    15. 15. Photo from Michelle Brea Creative Commons License:
    16. 16. • What do I want the outcome to be• How could the arts enhance it
    17. 17. Photo Creative Commons License from : avrene
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