Good afternoon. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Digital Media program at Georgia Tech. My research examines how underrepresented ethnic groups (UEGs) –Black American, Chicano, Indigenous and women –interact with material forms and affects of art and technology, as a part of STEAM learning.
YasminKafai and KyliePepplerapply DIY (do-it-yourself)production to research in the context of media-rich computer programming, however, their larger goal goes beyond programming to argue that creative media production should be considered an essential part of our discussions of learning with new digital media. p. 26
In my research I am focusing on the creative and innovative practices of ethnic groups – Black American, Chicano, Indigenous and women –who are underrepresented inSTEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Mathematics). STEAM which is a framework for teaching and learning across disciplines. This Wordle presents a sampling of the types of practices and projects that comprise my work.
STEM to STEAM got its start at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2010. Since then the movement has been gaining momentum in the United States and beyond. In this presentation I will show my approach to STEAM through culturally situated art-based learning and new digital media.
A grad student from RPI created a tool that uses artwork by interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers to help students learn geometry concepts such as rotation and symmetry. This culturally situated art and design tool is a DIYproductiontool similar to Scratch that helps young people use math to make their own designs and animations.
Young people can use the Internet to research the history and meaning of cultural heritage artifacts. They can view work by artists such as Sanford Biggers and Robert Pruitt who fuse together influences from cultural heritage arts and crafts, graffiti and popular culture.
The designs or shapes young people make can be embedded in painted murals and trigger digital content on camera-enabled mobile devices using augmented reality applications. AROS (Augmented Reality in Open Spaces) in Albuquerque, NM was created by local youth in their community, as part of ISEA2012. The mural at Moto Museum in St Louis, MO uses the Re+Public app that unlocks digital shapes to allow users to view and randomly re-compose a mural into hundreds of variations.Re+Public mural app: http://vimeo.com/77516545.
Next year I will moderate a panel at the Studio Museum in Harlem and conduct two research projects. January 9 is a panel with artists exploring afrofuturism and STEAM. February – March is a STEAM workshop and art project at a local charter school to include an introduction to artwork and concepts, a field trip to Georgia Tech to see an art exhibition, use digital tools to create designs and a public art project. In March a two-day workshopwill bring researchers, artists and cultural practitioners together to explore the role that culture and art (cultural art) plays among underrepresented ethnic students that, as studies show are increasingly uninterested, or disengaged in STEM.
STEM to STEAM & Youth Media
STEM to STEAM Through Culturally
Situated Arts-Based Learning and
By Nettrice R. Gaskins, Ph.D Candidate
“Childhood cultures are made up of interwoven
narratives and commodities that cross TV, toys,
fast-food packaging, video games, T-shirts,
shoes, bed linen, pencil cases, and lunch
boxes...teachers find their cultural and linguistic
messages losing power and relevance as they
compete with these global narratives. Just how
do we negotiate these invasive global texts?”
- New London Group (1996)
STEAM education is an interdisciplinary
approach to learning where rigorous academic
concepts are coupled with artistic works and
cultural practices as students apply science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics in
contexts that make connections between
school, community, personal interests, and the
Culturally situated art and design tools focus on
specific facets of African American, Native American
or Latin American culture where STEM plays a role
in creating media, art, and design.
As youth make artistic choices in traditional subject
areas, they are learning about the grammar of
visual design, which posits that aesthetic choices
are culturally understood and put together in
Left: Sanford Biggers. “Lotus,” 2011. Courtesy of the artist; Center: Saya Woolfalk. “Untitled (photo shoot),” 2013. Courtesy of the
artist; Right: Will Wilson. “eyeDazzler,” 2012. Courtesy of the artist.
Ron Eglash, Audrey Bennett, Casey O’Donnell, Sybillyn Jennings, and
Margaret Cintorino, “Culturally Situated Design Tools: Ethnocomputing
from Field Site to Classroom,” American Anthropologist, Vol. 108, Issue 2
(2006), pp. 347–362.
Nettrice Gaskins. “Advancing STEM Through Culturally Situated Arts-Based
Learning,” Journal of the New Media Caucus, Vol.09, N.03 (2013).
Yasmin Kafai & Kylie Peppler. “Youth, Technology, and DIY: Developing
Participatory Competencies in Creative Media Production.” In V. L.
Gadsden, S. Wortham, and R. Lukose (Eds.), Youth Cultures, Language and
Literacy. Review of Research in Education, Volume 34 (2011).
Nettrice R. Gaskins