“It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.” – Steve Jobs
White Hill’s STEAM: Inventors and Makers
Robotics and Pre-Engineering teacher Lisa Skinner, Science teacher Andrea Watson and English/History Bianca Vidal lead a dynamic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program now flourishing at White Hill Middle School with 3 6th grade Inventors Lab (two are funded by YES) and 3 7th/8th grade Makers & Hackers and Project Make engineering classes.
This integrated program inspires and challenges students to explore real world problems through engineering principles, 3D printing, design & building, programing, rockets, circuits, as they also develop their communication, research and presentation skills. Students recently created a “Design-for-a-Cause” T-Shirt project, implementing product design, application and marketing with a global, humanitarian focus.
In 2016-17 YES is also partially funding equipment essential for the program.
Where scientific disciplines were once considered independent academic fields, the inter-disciplinary approach in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) is now seen as critical cultivation of critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills for students entering a future with myriad possibilities, as well as challenges. The artist now inspires the scientist, who informs the engineer, and so on; working across disciplines collaboratively.
John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, remarks on the relationship between art and science in Scientific American, “Both are dedicated to asking the big questions placed before us: ‘What is true? Why does it matter? How can we move society forward?’ These are the kind of questions that students creatively tinker and navigate in hands-on STEAM learning.”