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Revised about STEAM

Posted on April 6, 2015 at 3:53 PM Comments comments (267)
Let’s think of our students as luthiers and coders, learning to infuse technology with aesthetics, and science with art.  Soon there will be a STEAM Assembly taking on the questions of how and whether to deliberately integrate the arts into science, technology, engineering and math courses. Register here: Keynote Assembly

Long ago, humans learned to make tools from sticks in order to reach the cashews, like Figaro the Cockatoo.  Like Figaro, we enjoy thinking “outside of the cage.”

A triumph of the evolving human condition is to perceive, manifest, manipulate, destroy and renew.  Our lives are a series of patterned phases and chaos states, ever-changing rhythms and tempos that come at us and from within us, in no particular order. Nature adds her interludes of decay and restoration, storm and sun, in cycles that temper our brutish ways.    

New music software allows you to record instruments, real or virtual, inside pseudo-cathedrals and amphitheaters. The acoustics of real music halls have been captured and reassembled into code. The program comes with auto-humanization.  What's old has become new.

Working in the music products industry, I once spoke at the Violin Society of America conference: these are the people who make and study the violin. In addition to wood, catgut and varnish, they care about copyright infringement and music education in schools. To make a tangible object that produces an beautiful, intangible outcome is a beautiful thing. All musical instruments were created in the space between science and art.    

We can help young people understand the ways that science and art coexist, and why that’s important. While learning, one must imagine, design, build, succeed or fail, and imagine again, obeying and breaking nature’s laws for good reason. Intangibles hold the clues that help us invent and solve problems. Let's strive to engage the minds and hearts of our students and activate that special place within us all that is "in between."