Rochester Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 2810 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Promoting a STEM curriculum in school districts nationwide, as well as globally, is a popular current strategic initiative. Many have asked the question, what about the arts?; what about creativity?; what about diversity?. Others feel that the arts and humanities have been unfortunately put aside and disregarded. The key to a successful STEM curriculum is to bring all the disciplines together.

Those involved in bringing both the sciences and the arts together have suggested replacing, or have replaced, STEM with the acronym “STEAM” or “TEAMS” therefore including the arts with the intent of encouraging and inspiring students to solve problems in a different way. By including the arts in the STEM curriculum, the goal is to provide students with the tools to integrate and stimulate the development of divergent thinking and problem-solving strategies for life-long learning skills— allowing them to succeed in today’s complex and demanding world.

Individuals who are drawn to the sciences and technology are primarily left-brain dominant— meaning that such individuals are logical, literal, analytical, and objective— approaching problems in a sequential or linear direction as a series of parts. Left-brain dominant individuals generally approach problems by gathering and studying information from a variety of sources and reaching one absolute conclusion.

Individuals who are drawn to the arts and humanities are generally right-brain dominant— meaning they are generally intuitive, imaginative and artistic— approaching problems holistically, synthesizing information and interpreting seemingly random data in a systematic approach. Right-brain dominant individuals generally approach problems by studying one stimulus and generating a range of possible solutions to the problem.

This presentation will feature a case study of inner-city high school STEM students who were brought in to a university setting to learn new ways of problem solving through design in order to become more autonomous future thinkers and problem-solvers. Working with inner city high school students and choosing to invest in them is of paramount importance in meeting the needs of the society of tomorrow.
Education, STEM, Arts and Humanities, Design.