A push for better U.S. art and design education is changing STEM to STEAM.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have long been the Holy Grail of a U.S. drive for improved education, producing students who can compete globally. But a growing chorus says art and design must be in the mix.
The STEAM movement has wide-ranging support from academia, business and government.
“How do you humanize technology? Art and design does that,” said John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.
Founded in 1877 to enable the American textile industry to compete with Europe, the private school is a leader in the STEM to STEAM movement.
RISD’s efforts include providing fellowships to its students for STEAM-related projects. And it’s working with the National Science Foundation on a climate change study, the only art school in the country doing something along those lines, Maeda says.
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