SchoolArts Magazine

March 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Editor's Letter T his past summer, I came across Ophelia, the fanciful octopus depicted here at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska. The Alaska SeaLife Center is dedicated to marine research, education, and marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation. Ophelia was created from ocean trash by students from Kodiak High School using debris from a local coastal cleanup. Viewing it, you admire the whimsical and cre- ative use of materials while also being reminded of the extent of plastic trash in the waters of the world. Could there be a better example of a STEAM-based project? STEAM education stands for the integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Though you wouldn't necessarily have all of these strands in one lesson, their logical use here could include investigation into the scale of plastic pollution in the waters of the world; collecting materials while removing plastic from the immediate environment; figuring out ways to engineer a structure that could support the weight of the materials, taking into account measurement and scale; and consider- ing which ocean creature to depict in an engaging fashion so as to draw the viewer's attention. I find that many art teachers are already working from a STEAM perspective, but may not realize it. To give just a few examples, if you are teaching about the natural world, the built environment, geometric concepts, types of symme - try, color theory, or using technology to create or share art, you may have a STEAM project. If STEAM is new to you, get started by looking to art- ists for inspiration who are or were fascinated by math- ematical or scientific concepts, such as M.C. Escher, Victor Vasarely, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Agnes Denes. Look for architects, sculptors, and structural concepts. Look for artists who use technology to make or share art. Whether you are a STEAM veteran or newbie, it will be to your benefit as an art teacher if you share what you are doing with STEAM. This could take the form of actual or online art exhibitions, blog posts, articles, or newsletters to educate your administrators, other teachers, parents, and your community. The articles offered this month were all developed by art educators just like you. In each one, the addition of the arts to STEM is made more powerful because of the interdisci - plinary and engaging nature of the arts. Art teachers may be the best teachers of STEAM. NAEA Position on STEAM Education STEAM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technolog , engineering, art, and math - ematics. The STEAM approach is the infusion of art and design principles, concepts, and techniques into STEM instruction and learning. This is achieved through the use of STEAM curricula, collaboration of non-arts educators with certified/licensed art educators, teaching artists, and communit -based arts organizations. It includes educa - tional activities across all grade levels in both classrooms and communit -based settings. STEAM approaches support the inclusion and involve- ment of professionals and resources from the communit to support STEAM programs. Artists and designers expe - rienced with STEAM are integral to driving workforce innovation in a variet f fields. Visit SchoolArtsRoom.com Follow me on SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 3 Nancy with the trash sculpture Ophelia at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska.

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