(Washington, DC)—The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative featured a panel discussion on integrating arts and humanities into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning recently. Panelists included MacArthur Fellow Robert Root-Bernstein, Ph.D.; Candace Katz Ph.D., Deputy Director of President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and Ryan Hill, Director of Digital Learning Programs, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
“Arts-based learning can effectively contribute to science education, STEM skill development, and innovative and competitive American workforce,” remarked Louise Kennelly, Execeutive Director of the DC Collaborative. “Today’s meeting is about exploring the ways that’s happening in practice and the research that supports these links.”
Ryan Hill of the Hirshhorn Museum provided highlights regarding the Hirshhorn Museum’s ArtLab which is dedicated to art, technology and education. “Both art and science contain a sense of discovery,” noted Hill, who outlined how the museum encourages participating teenagers not only to consume content, but to also actively engage with it via technology, producing new knowledge together in the process of working, learning and playing.
Robert Root-Bernstein, co-author of the Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People and professor of physiology at Michigan State University underscored the importance of interdisciplinary learning for mastery of any subject, highlighting the ways the arts and sciences, in particular, can accelerate discoveries when pursued together. “Participation in arts and crafts correlates to scientific success,” according to his research findings which were included in his presentation “ArtSmart: The Case for Arts at the Center of STEM education”.
Candace Katz outlined the recently released research report “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools” produced by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “We must reinvest in creativity and innovation for students; these are recommendations for our future prosperity,” she noted.
The meeting hosted by the Smithsonian Museum of American History, began with a welcome by museum director Brent Glass, Ph.D. The question and answer portion of the meeting was facilitated by Roberta Gasbarre, director of the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre.