Stem to Steam

STEAM represents the economic progress and breakthrough innovation that comes from adding art and design to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and research: STEM + Art = STEAM. The value of art and design to innovation is clear: Artists and designers humanize technology, making it understandable and capable of bringing about societal change. The tools and methods of a studio-based education offer new models for creative problem solving, flexible thinking and risk-taking that are needed in today’s complex and dynamic world.”


Board Presentation

Last semester the Math & Science division was asked by the Board of Trustees to provide an overview of our college’s interpretation of  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.  Our colleagues in Math/Science graciously asked that the Art department also be allowed to present an interpretation of STEAM*. 


 Art 57b – Bugatti Project - Team Lead, Yasu Takahashi

The STEM to STEAM rationale boils down to the idea that math/science students can gain valuable and unique problem solving experience via studio arts instruction.

While we had the Trustees’ attention we also argued that arts students too engage in basic math and science.  As an example we showed video of an original, student-produced, computer-generated model complete with real-time algorithmic functionality.  Students purposefully developed and demonstrated geometry and linear algebra skills in order to produce a dynamically simulated artwork.  By the way, the video game industry is projected to surpass $50 BILLION (annual) in 2012.

Additional examples included  sculpture and ceramics students testing chemical reactions, design students analyzing the physical properties of light, and music students thinking in fractions.

The Trustees seemed to appreciate the presentation.  Thank you Rebecca, Roberta, and Lori for the invitation!

*West Valley College has adopted the acronym, SMD (Science, Math, Design).

 West Valley College Studio Art Lab(oratory)


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