Art science: Balancing an education

Balancing art science can lead to an education to make a positive difference on youth.

Balancing art science in education to make a positive difference on youth is becoming a topic of discussion. In the blog post by Carol Hunter, Balancing the art and science of education she concluded with the bold statement, “It is only when we find the balance between the art and science of education that we will begin to make a real difference in the lives of our students.”

The article Art science: The role of art and design in science by Michigan State University Extension provides some insight into the balancing act educators are facing in the science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) area in terms of adding the art and design piece. Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) is a movement that continues to be widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals. As highlighted in by MSU Extension, the objectives of the STEM to STEAM movement are:

  • Transform research policy to place “Art + Design” at the center of STEM
  • Encourage integration of “Art + Design” in kindergarten through 12th grade education
  • Influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation

MSU Extension 4-H science and technology and 4-H visual arts youth development programming offer many educational opportunities that can be combined in relation to STEAM. The art science sessions recently offered at the 4-H Visual Arts and Crafts Workshop that took place at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich. balanced STEAM with life skills lessons. Youth were evaluated in the following ways:

  1. Problem solving. Thought process involved in solving a problem
  2. Critical thinking. Able to analyze, synthesize and evaluate to reach an answer
  3. Decision making. Thought process involved in making a decision 

The experiential learning, fun and education when science and art are combined can shape youths STEM and creative skills, thus creating STEAM.

The balancing act remains as educators continue to add the art and design aspect to spark creativity in science education as STEAM is shaping the 21st Century workforce.

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