Sunday, November 29, 2015

[Yasmin_discussions] STEM. STEAM...STEAMS

Greg Paul Sheila

I think we need to advocate that there are multiple reasons for advocating
STEM to STEAM- and avoid oversimplifying- and that indeed we
want, in some cases not all, art and design better integrated into STEM
activities and also STEM better integrated into some not all

in a recent discussion with a journalist- the question was posed ' what jobs
are people trained in STEAM approaches being hired"

robert root bernstein replied : I'd say the question is misleading.
The purpose of STEM to STEAM is not to create some new hybrid
specialty, but to improve performance and creative ability in all of
the professions impacted by the integration.

I begged to differ- that the jobs argument is valid- but that we need
to buy into a rich variety of modivations

in the National Academy meeting in washington on next tuesday the
question is framed as:

· The value of incorporating curricula and experiences in the
humanities—including history, literature, language, philosophy,
religion, and the arts—into college and university STEM education and
workforce training programs, to understand whether and how these

· The value of incorporating more STEM curricula and experiences
into the academic programs of students who are majoring in the
humanities and related disciplines to understand whether and how the
career readiness of these students can be enhanced by exposing them to
deeper knowledge of science, engineering, medicine and technology...

· The benefits of creating opportunities and incentives for
incorporating the humanities into public policy deliberations around
the most compelling STEM issues of our day, such as global
stewardship, health care for our youngest and oldest citizens, and
gene editing.

(for the full statement see:

and insists on a call for a new humanism"

But it is a third, less instrumental justification for the humanities
in engineering education that will be most important for successfully
engaging the ultimate Grand Challenge of self-knowledge, that is, of
thinking reflectively and critically about the kind of world we wish
to design, construct, and inhabit in and through our technologies.

this is the concern about 'instrumental arguemnts' such as innovation
and entrepreneurship, attracting more people into STEM careers etc,
which should not occlude totally the fundamental reason why the
current disciplinary approaches are often lacking

but as i continue to say, lets not overgeneralise- there are very good
reasons to have narrow disciplinary experts for many many of the
problems that need to be solved

let me re iterate the invitation to all YASMINERS to tell us whats on
their mind- that has increased in importance over the past five years-
we will integrate these into the meetings over the next few months of
the SEAD network

roger malina

On Sun, Nov 29, 2015 at 4:12 PM, Greg Giannis <> wrote:
> Hi Paul
> Thanks for highlighting this. I am researching the teaching of code & hardware skills to artists and most of the literature around STEAM is as you say, very lopsided, harnessing the arts to get better engagement in STEM. But what about harnessing STEM creative types?
> Greg
>> On 30 Nov 2015, at 7:23 am, "Paul Fishwick" <> wrote:
>> Since STEAM is on the table of discussion, this may be relevant - just posted it:

Full steam ahead. Or should I say STEAM ahead? STEM stands forScience,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and has been a driving force
initiated by the National Science Foundation to focus education policy
within technical areas and their associated disciplines. More
recently, the letter "A" has been added to create a new movement
called STEAM. The "A" stands for the arts, and according to a leading
site devoted to STEAM, STEM + Art = STEAM. Since I spend much of my
time thinking about the interconnections between STEM and the Arts, I
welcome the STEAM movement. And yet, I have deep concerns about the
movement's three published policy goals stated on the STEAM site: (1)
transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM;
(2) encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education; and (3)
influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.
These are worthwhile goals, but notice how all three goals seem to be
about getting STEM-oriented folks to hire artists and designers, and
placing art & design at the middle of STEM? Let's flip this. What
about having STEM at the center of Art and Design? I am not suggesting
doing away with the three STEAM goals, but I am recommending some sort
of balance by extending or broadening these goals; the current ones
are lopsided. I strongly advocate new ways of starting with design and
the arts, and then surfacing STEM concepts from within art and design.
For the STEM subset of computing, this advocacy resulted in the
aesthetic computingmovement. Recently, this approach has taken root in
learning systems thinking in the art museum. I am not the first to
suggest this if we consider the larger literature base of blending
STEM with the Arts. Take Martin Kemp's book The Science of Art where
he explores mathematics and optics via art. Also, the MIT Press
Leonardo journals edited by Roger Malina has extensive historical
coverage of intersections of STEM and the arts. Leonardo was founded
in 1968, and so its publications contain a treasure trove of
knowledge, suggesting new ways to get to the heart of STEAM. To
advocates of STEAM, my suggestion is to rethink of STEAM as two-way
traffic: two steam locomotives, two tracks, perhaps with some switches
here and there.
>> 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
>> Home:
>> Blog 1:
>> Blog 2:
>> LinkedIn: metaphorz
>> Twitter: @representationz
>>> On Nov 29, 2015, at 10:12 AM, roger malina <> wrote:
>>> yasminers
>>> from sheila pinkel in california
>>> roger malina
>>> 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
>>> professor.
>>> 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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