At the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), we believe that part of what makes our flagship program Camp Invention® so successful is that it takes an interdisciplinary approach to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. One of the ways our curriculum does this is by embracing the importance of art and design. Because today’s STEM careers often combine technical skills with design-thinking, creativity, communication and artistic skills in order to bring innovative ideas to life, the most beneficial STEM education programs blend technology together with design.
Read below to learn three benefits STEM educators can gain from incorporating art and design into their lesson plans.
1. Attracting Artistic Students
Sometimes, students who self-identify as “artistic” or “artsy” shy away from STEM subjects. Because they view these subjects as technical in nature, they often see these areas as unrelated to their personal interests. However, when a STEM-based program incorporates activities that require students to think about marketing and designing their creations, students who are artistically inclined can feel a sense of belonging. Educator Mary Beth Hertz agrees, and in an article for Edutopia argues that for “students who may not be motivated by math, the science, or even the technology, it may be the creative piece that gives them the spark they need to truly engage.”
2. Increasing Engagement
To ensure a high quality and effective STEM education, student engagement is essential. Because these types of subjects are at times inherently technical, students can lose interest if lessons lack interactivity. To combat this, educators can embrace hands-on learning techniques to increase interest and excitement. Incorporating art and design into lesson planning has been shown to increase engagement and improve students’ learning outcomes, and it gives students a sense of ownership over what they’re working on. This increased level of engagement improves students’ ability to retain information and encourages interest in learning more about the given subject.
3. Expanding Creative Outcomes
As the world continues to evolve, the demand for creative solutions needed to address complex problems will continue to increase. Though curricula that focus on specific technical skillsets, such as coding boot camps, continue to grow in popularity, the importance of interdisciplinary STEM education has long been promoted by even the highest levels of our government. According to John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, the most creative and influential designs arise from the marriage of art and the sciences, as opposed to viewing these subjects as unrelated to each other.
Learn More About Camp Invention Today!
At Camp Invention, we strive to create an engaging and fun summer STEM experience that combines cutting-edge technology with creativity and design. To learn more, we invite you to visit our website.