Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What's It All About, Alfie?

I've been asked what the Art of Science Learning is all about. Right now, it's an experiment with major funding from the National Science Foundation. The innovators for this project had polled top level executives to ask what they were looking for in today's workforce. Employers wanted employees that had communication,teamwork, and creativity skills. The executives felt the workforce coming out of school now is not adequately prepared in these areas. Those in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math are bright, but they can't explain their work especially to those that do not have a STEM background.

Through the data collection process, there seemed to be a correlation between Nobel prize winners and their involvement in the arts. (For example, Einstein played the violin.) These individuals were more creative than their colleagues who were not involved in some artistic extracurricular activity. The Art of Science Learning developers decided creativity is not innate. It's a skill that can be learned. So, they have developed a curriculum to teach an approach to innovation through the use of sculpture, jazz, improv theater and other arts.

That's where the Fellows come in. That's what the people chosen to participate in the project are called. We will be taught these skills. A new way of being able to look at problems and come up with solutions. We will then use these new tools to solve a real world problem and hopefully, come up with innovative, effective, and creative ways to address issues. We will take an idea through research and development to testing and launch phase.

Three centers or incubators have been chosen each with its own unique problem to solve. San Diego will be working on water issues, Chicago is looking into urban nutrition, and Worcester has chosen transportation as its year long project.

I'm guessing data collected from the incubator projects will be used to further refine the curriculum to be incorporated into the education system in the future.


  1. I'm glad they're including the arts in with the sciences. Arts seem to be taking a back seat these days.

  2. So the pendulum is finally swinging back……the arts are NOT superfluous! They serve a definite purpose in learning/thinking skills. Teach kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think. Duh! Thanks for the explanation!