Case studies for STEAM Education benefits: Successful innovators, scientists with passion for the arts
Even before STEAM education gained popularity there were plenty notable personalities illustrating the intellectual magic born from the marriage of arts and sciences. Here are just a few examples:
Once upon a time it was a strange idea, but nowadays, the marriage of the science and arts is being acknowledged across the globe, in both the academe and corporate worlds. As many are discovering, there is potential for great success by mastering both.
“The greatest scientists are artists as well,” Albert Einstein once said.
Many people, however, tend to look at the sciences and the arts as two polar opposites—one or the other or both sitting on different ends of the spectrum. We never see scientists as crazy, bold, and creative nor artists as precise, data-driven, and carefully calculated. But for those passionate about both science and arts, the combination of the two has taken them to new intellectual heights and helped drive exceptional achievements.
On the classroom level, the growing popularity of STEAM education, which puts Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics into a multi-disciplinary setting, has led to a shift in curriculums and teaching methodologies. A STEM versus STEAM curriculum advocates for the integration of the Arts to help expand the mind on a creative level, introduce a visual design context to problems, sponsor innovation, and improve creative thinking and problem solving.
If you are a curious joe, take inspiration from these four innovators who magically blended art and science:
Probably best known as the brain behind the biggest technological innovations in recent decades—the Mac computer, iPods, iPhones, and iPads—Jobs’ success is greatly credited to his love for arts and design, which are the key components of the success of Apple Inc. His vision for Apple defined the company as an innovative and creative. Less known, Jobs was also one of the driving forces in the success of Pixar Studios, which he managed for some time shortly after the release of Toy Story.
At a very early age, Jobs had already developed love for the arts from reading books and interest in minimalist design through a modernist architecture of his childhood home. From there, he realized he wanted a career where humanities and sciences were intertwined.
“I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics … then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do,” Jobs said.
Best known as one of the most glamorous stars of black and white film era, HedyLamarr also made a name as a mathematician and engineer. She made significant contributions to modern communications with her groundbreaking work in early GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi, and other wireless technologies.
The Austrian-American actress also contributed during the World War II by helping in the improvement of radio-controlled torpedo technology, wherein she worked with composer George Antheil to create “frequency hopping” that prevented the torpedoes from easily being jammed and missing their target.
One of the greatest physicists of all time was also a pianist and violinist. Einstein was a believer that imagination meant more than anything else—that a great scientist needed to be able to have “intuition and inspiration” to create achievements in science.
The man behind the most famous equation (E = mc2 ), famously said that if he didn’t end up as a scientist, he would be a musician; crediting his knowledge and success to his imaginative thinking fueled by his love for science and math combined with the arts.
Being the visionary for some 400 companies, Sir Richard Branson is best known for his media company, Virgin Records, which has evolved over the years to include mobile phone networks, banking, and airlines. His most recent venture aims to fly tourists into space courtesy of Virgin Galactic!
Before he became a man of industry, he was a lover of music and the arts, tracing his beginnings from running a Student magazine and, later, opening his fledgling record business.
Branson said: “Art is a wonderful way to stay clear, calm.,. and conscious.The act of producing art is great for boosting drive, focus, and concentration, and enhances creative thinking and problem-solving skills. It encourages emotional awareness and forward-thinking. And ultimately it leaves us with a sense of accomplishment.”
Arts and science combined provides a fertile learning environment for our kids–from developing creative and social intellect to more technical skills and knowledge. In such setting, we are unleashing our kids potential and exposing them to different interests and opportunities that will help ensure a bright future.