Sing a Song of Science

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Cello Player (Amedeo Modigliani)

Scientists have a responsibility to share their findings with the general public in a clear and compelling way. STEM graduate and undergraduate students should be taught to communicate with both scientific and general audiences. Communication of pressing environmental concerns, including climate change, is especially important. Double-majors and students from other disciplines may contribute communication skills less common among scientists.

Music can be an accessible form of communication and speaks to human emotions. Daniel Crawford, an undergraduate at the University of Minnesotta (http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.html), was tasked by Prof. Scott St. George (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~stgeorge/Scott_St._George/Main.html) with translating global temperature data from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (http://www.giss.nasa.gov) into a cello piece. Crawford created this work as part of his internship in the Geography Department, demonstrating the importance of funding for undergraduate research experiences.

How about this for an assignment for your class? Each student must find creative way to express the same global temperature data. Hmm, maybe I’ll try that!

Click through for a story on the project and access to the score for A Song for Our Warming Planet: http://ensia.com/videos/a-song-of-our-warming-planet/

Transnational STEAM

The International Conference on Transnational Collaboration in STEAM Education (http://stemstates.org/stemfest-malaysia-2013/international-conference-on-transnational-collaboration-on-steam-education.html) will follow on the heels of the World Conference on Science and Technology Education (http://worldste2013.org) this October.

The venue will be the University of Malaysia Sarawak (http://www.unimas.my/index.php/en/) in the lovely city of Kuching on the Island of Borneo.

The conference organizers at Science House Foundation (http://sciencehousefoundation.org) see the arts/design as part of an integrated approach to science education. The conference will feature panelists discussing the role of art and creativity in science.

Pinnacles at Mulu, Gunung Mulu National Park, Borneo

Pinnacles at Mulu, Gunung Mulu National Park, Borneo

While K12 education is emphasized on the conference website, post-secondary and higher education will be discussed. The call for papers ends May 30th.

Bornean Orangutan

Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

Kuching is one of the neatest little cities in the world, and Borneo is known for its extraordinary biological and cultural diversity.

Chinese Gateway at Friendship Park, Kuching

Chinese Gateway at Friendship Park, Kuching

STEAM rising on Capitol Hill

Evelyn Simak

On February 14, 2013, Dr. John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a national leader in STEAM, joined representatives of Adobe Education Worldwide, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the New York Hall of Science, and  the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a Capitol Hill briefing on STEAM.  STEAM in K12 education, museums, and workforce development/the innovation economy was discussed. It was argued that students who have the opportunity to be creative are much more engaged in school and better prepared for their future professional lives. Follow the link below for links to a video of the testimony and a MoveOn.org petition in support of STEAM. This meeting kicked off the formation of a new bi-partisan STEAM caucus.

http://www.risd.edu/about/news/steam_hits_capitol_hill/

The briefing provided some strong arguments for STEAM that apply at all levels, from pre-K through graduate studies.