Paul Fishwick, PhD
Chair, ACM SIGSIM
Distinguished University Chair of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication
Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Blog 1: creative-automata.com
Blog 2: modelingforeveryone.com
> On Nov 29, 2015, at 10:12 AM, roger malina <email@example.com> wrote:
> from sheila pinkel in california
> roger malina
> STEM, STEAM, STEAMS
> By Sheila Pinkel, September 2015
> Due to poor U.S. student performance in the sciences, in 2006 the STEM
> concept for enhancing education in science, technology, engineering
> and mathematics was introduced in classrooms. (1). Beginning in 2012
> educators in Massachusetts, New Mexico and Rhode Island started
> experimenting with STEAM, adding art to the educational model. The
> chief objectives of the STEAM movement, according to RISD, were to
> "transform research policy to place art and design at the center of
> STEM" and "influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive
> innovation." Educators also said they wished to see art and design
> take a more central role in education, from kindergarten through
> college. (2)
> I applaud these initiatives to enhance interdisciplinary learning.
> However, there is an important component still missing. Society, or
> STEAMS, needs to be added to create a complete educational model in
> which the history and social implications of science, social science
> and art are considered as well.
> Historically there are very famous examples of the importance of
> understanding the social implications of scientific research. For
> instance, Leo Szilard, the first physicist to conceive of a chain
> reaction that could become an atomic bomb, in 1939 authored with
> Albert Einstein a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt expressing
> his concern about Germany making an a-bomb first. However, once the
> Manhattan Project had produced one, in the spring of1945 Szilard
> became concerned about consequences of using the a-bomb before an
> international control agreement had been discussed with the Soviets.
> After WWII Szilard founded the Council for a Livable World because he
> understood the importance of creating dialogue about the developments
> in science, especially as they relate to issues of war and peace.
> Today it is important to consider the social implications of a
> worldview that has shifted from the domain of religion and philosophy
> to the sciences. Changing cosmological paradigms on the part of
> physicists because of rapidly changing knowledge about the macrocosm
> and microcosm in the universe has resulted in a master narrative about
> cosmological origins that is in constant flux. However, there is
> little commentary about this shifting construct of 'truth' and its
> affect on our lives and culture. As a result, when I asked may people
> about their thoughts about finally being able to 'see' the Higgs
> Boson, they said that it didn't matter to them because it has no
> impact on their lives.
> In colleges and universities, the fragmented nature of an educational
> system in which the implications of economic paradigms or views of
> history are considered separately from the arts and sciences has led
> to a lack of dialogue about these inter relationships. Thus, often the
> human and social implications of the direction of research or works
> produced are absent and there is not a conceptual container to
> facilitate these discussions.
> Some educational institutions have added social and/or
> multidimensional courses to their curriculum. For instance, Pitzer
> College, Claremont, CA., requires all students to spend a semester
> living and/or working with a local community to better understand the
> realities and dilemmas confronting the people in that community. Bryn
> Mar College, PA, offers three courses in one semester in which the
> same fifteen students look at a subject from various perspectives all
> semester. In the fall of 2015 the same students studied issues of
> incarceration in three classes, taught by a political science
> professor, social science professor, English professor and art
> By adding 'society' to STEM and STEAM, the terrain for social,
> political, economic and/or historic discourse is available for an
> added dimension of dialogue and understanding to take place.
> Questioning the social implications of what we do can create clarity
> and help guide our life choices.
> (1) "Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
> Education: Background, Federal Policy and Legislative Action" (2008),
> Jeffrey J. Kuenzi, Congressional Research Service Reports, Paper 35,
> (2) "Gaining STEAM: Teaching Science though Art", US News NEWS: Eliza
> Krigman, Feb. 13, 2014.
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