As we have concluded the semester-long program, I thought I share some thoughts on the aftermath of the endeavor. My teammate and I still need to finish our video. As with many things, life and work inhibited us from meeting our Pre-Holiday Goal. However, we are committed to producing our finished product.
What I found over the course of the semester was my partner, and I was very passionate about the place from where our ideas came. We a both committed to the upward mobility of the underserved in STEM and STEM-related fields. That being said, we believe the use of STEAM, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics can be used as a powerful tool to inspire and cultivate aspiring Scientists, mathematicians, etc. I understand many people don’t get STEAM. What is interesting is the very theoretical framework of “perspectives” governing academic achievement suggests that one’s perception is one’s reality. That being said, if one does not see the value in the Arts as it pertains to science, then everything they see will support that expectation. I often say as educators we are more so perception changers. We change not only the perception of students as it pertains to curriculum, but we also change the perceptions of students views of themselves. Well, to be more accurate, we try to either change it for the better or we try to enhance positive perceptions.
As mentioned in some of my previous posts, if a student does not believe they are smart enough to do something, you can throw a billion-dollar curriculum at them, and it will accomplish nothing if it does nothing to positively impact the self-perception and self- efficacy of that student.
That being said, I have enjoyed this program, and I am glad I was a participant. It was challenging at times to get blog posts in regularly when these matters competed with my other responsibilities associated with my profession, however, it was worth the effort. I will be completing my part of the lecture later this month and combining it with my team mate’s video. The goal is to post it to YouTube such that people around the world can share and hopefully be inspired to incorporate some of our perspectives into their educational practice.
I hope these posts have provoked some thought that will inspire others to advance ideas have explored. This journey is far from over. It has only just begun.
Participating in this residency has given me the courage to apply for a Maker in Residence term at a makerspace in Burlington. In March and April, I will use the physical resources (3D printers, laser cutters, etc.) available at the space to explore some of the ideas generated by the SciArt residency and through conversation with Kent to explore mineralogy within different contexts and artistic mediums.
Post-residency, I’ve been growing more attuned to interdisciplinary happenings in my scientific and artistic communities. As a result, I’ve had enjoyed surprising conversations with friends and colleagues, formed a personal mini-canon of historical sci-art figures in my head, and developed a little arsenal of tools, papers, and methods to proceed in the future. In my work as a local data scientist, I hope to bring art into the fold in several upcoming events, especially since recent work has supported the power of artistic methods to increase comprehension and engagement when visualizing data.
There are some other exciting developments on the horizon related to science in my life that I can’t talk about right now, but I’m looking forward to sustaining my participation in the SciArt community and collaborating in the future with Kent.
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