STEAM: Using the Arts to Train Well-Rounded and Creative Scientists

    Authors: Verónica A. Segarra1, Barbara Natalizio2, Cibele V. Falkenberg3, Stephanie Pulford4, Raquell M. Holmes5,6,*
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC 27268; 2: AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22314; 3: Department of Computational Modeling Sciences, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GSK, Upper Merion, PA (work developed while affiliated to Mechanical Engineering Department, Auburn University, AL 19406); 4: Center for Educational Effectiveness, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616; 5: Center for Computational Science, Boston University, Boston, MA 02125; 6: improvscience, Boston, MA 02120
    • Received 28 May 2017 Accepted 13 February 2018 Published 27 April 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Center for Computational Science, Boston University, 3 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215. Phone: 617-363-6266. Fax: 617-358-2487. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1360
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    While the demand for a strong STEM workforce continues to grow, there are challenges that threaten our ability to recruit, train, and retain such a workforce in a way that is effective and sustainable and fosters innovation. One way in which we are meeting this challenge is through the use of the arts in the training of scientists. In this Perspectives article, we review the use of the arts in science education and its benefits in both K–12 and postsecondary education. We also review the use of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs in science outreach and the development of professional scientists.

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While the demand for a strong STEM workforce continues to grow, there are challenges that threaten our ability to recruit, train, and retain such a workforce in a way that is effective and sustainable and fosters innovation. One way in which we are meeting this challenge is through the use of the arts in the training of scientists. In this Perspectives article, we review the use of the arts in science education and its benefits in both K–12 and postsecondary education. We also review the use of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs in science outreach and the development of professional scientists.

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