From STEM to STE(A)M: A New Initiative at Dwight School
Answering Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda's clarion call to make the connection between STEM and the arts, Dwight School is doing just that — and making that connection explicit through a new "From STEM to STE(A)M" initiative.
To kick off this exciting program, Dwight School is hosting a signature event on May 13 for its community, featuring a series of talks by experts and artists, student performances, and multimedia presentations designed to bring this interdisciplinary blending to life. Leading the charge is Al Doyle, Dwight's Head of Visual & Performing Arts, who is a pioneer in integrating game design and game-based learning into the academic curriculum with the goal of engaging students to think beyond boundaries between traditional academic disciplines. "Leonardo da Vinci didn't acknowledge the difference between art and science," says Mr. Doyle. So it seems — centuries later — neither should all of us.
Dwight's "From STEM to STE(A)M" kick-off event next month will include remarks by Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, a noted expert in science and engineering education from New York City's Storefront Science. She will underscore the importance of integrating the arts with science, technology, engineering, and math in the classroom.
Zack Tornaben, Associate Curator from the Guided by Invoices gallery in Manhattan, will provide an overview of the work of the father-and-son team of Erik and Martin Demaine, MIT professors who created origami sculptures that express non-Euclidian geometry in tangible form. The gallery will be lending these sculptures to Dwight for the event; some are in the MoMA collection and were featured in the Museum's groundbreaking "Design and the Elastic Mind"; exhibit.
These computational origami works will serve as inspiration for Dwight students to emulate as part of a mathematics project they're currently undertaking in the sixth grade.
Dwight will show a multimedia projection entitled "David & Goliath Can't Fight" by award-winning artist and Long Island University professor Marian Moghaddam. It incorporates modern imaging techniques typical of video game production: motion capture, audio triggering, and high-res 3D effects. The projection will serve as a backdrop for a student multimedia performance incorporating live instruments, recordings, and synthesized drums. Vintage audio equipment furnished by the Museum of Interesting Things will be incorporated into the mix.
All of these components will come together — in one evening — and lay the foundation for introducing new Dwight courses in digital media and design thinking. These courses, which will complement the School's existing design technology curriculum, will also demonstrate Dwight's commitment to integrating design and the arts with the traditional disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.#
Dwight, which is celebrating its 140th birthday this year, is one of Manhattan's oldest independent schools. It was the first in the U.S. to offer the comprehensive International Baccalaureate curriculum from preschool-grade 12. To learn more, visit www.dwight.edu.