Rhode Island School of Design leads congressional effort to make STEAM out of STEM

From a Rhode Island School of Design press release:

On Wednesday, June 22, RISD will present a Congressional briefing on the need to integrate art and design with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education as an essential component of the national innovation agenda.

RISD President John Maeda will emphasize the importance of adding Art to STEM education (thereby making STEAM) to teach the flexible thinking and risk-taking that is needed in today’s complex and dynamic world. To realize this potential, he says, scientists, artists and designers need to develop new ways of working together and new modes of research and education. A resolution sponsored by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) speaks to the importance of art and design in the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research agenda.

US News and World Report ranked RISD as the number one fine arts grad school in the nation this year, with its closest rivals being Yale and the Chicago Art Institute.


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2 Responses to Rhode Island School of Design leads congressional effort to make STEAM out of STEM

  1. Doc Carr says:

    As the Resident Cynic (I have the t shirt to prove it), I must point out that they don’t seem to be arguing for adding a year of calculus and a course on engineering mechanics to the curriculum at RISD so artists and future art educators would have a better understanding of the constraints of nature’s laws on design and how to connect to children currently more interested in how things work than in how they look.

    But I understand the argument. I recommend an art course called Design I for anyone who is interested in architecture or structural engineering if they have a spare elective. Figg Engineering in Tallahassee would not be the only internationally famous company in town without Eugene Figg’s vision of bridges as art, reportedly developed as a child.

    The core challenge is likely one we are familiar with on the science side of K-8 and 9-12 education: Teacher qualifications in a very technical field, and money. A colleague says that art classes are more feared than physics, if you can imagine that, because your art exposes your soul. Teaching it has to be done well to foster creativity rather than fear.

  2. Doc Carr says:

    By mere coincidence I saw the following concerning exploding patio tables today. Martha Stewart Living says:
    “We provide the aesthetic design for beautiful products. Because we do not oversee the mechanical design, engineering or manufacturing of the products….”


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