Fine Arts

What do Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs have in common?  They recognized and used the powerful connection between the arts and science, technology, engineering, and math.

What is the importance of Fine Arts at a STEM school? PTAA offers Music and Visual Art courses to foster the creativity required in today's era of innovation and design. The arts can be used to directly to engage students and to strengthen STEM learning and skills. "Students better understand abstract concepts in science and mathematics, such as fractions and geometric shapes, through art-making projects." "Building STEAM: Blending the Arts With STEM Subjects," Education Week, Published December 7, 2011. As well the the arts hold great potential to foster creativity and new ways of thinking that can help unleash STEM innovation and produce a more creative American workforce. 

 Art without engineering is dreaming. Engineering without art is calculating.

                                                                                                                                                                   -- Steven K. Roberts , Technomad, Author, Innovator

In the article "A Young Picasso or Beethoven Could Be The Next Edison," published by MSU Today, October 23, 2013, we learn that researchers have documented a link between art and success in science. “If you started as a young child and continued in your adult years [childhood participation in arts and crafts activities], you’re more likely to be an inventor as measured by the number of patents generated, businesses formed or articles published.” Cross disciplinary study of the arts, technology, engineering, science and math are leading our graduates toward a successful future in whatever career they envision.

At the crossroads of the Fine Arts with STEM disciplines, science technology, engineering, and math, we find a host of burgeoning careers in design: product and service design and redesign in many fields-- manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, architecture, education, entertainment, fashion, retail and marketing-- all in a global marketplace. At this intersection called design there is a need for creativity in the workforce to be used both in the ability to innovate and to influence the aesthetic of new products and services. The demand for new forms of engagement and exchange in the digital sphere alone causes employers in digital media, design, broadcast, performing and visual arts, 3D computer animation, sound design, digital fabrication, modeling and simulation, data visualization, virtual environments, and gaming sectors to hire graduates with backgrounds that synergize design, arts and technology.

America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future and that innovation economy has fostered a recent movement in engineering schools toward the interdisciplinary study of science and art.  John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and champion of the STEM to STEAM movement,  asserts that artists and designers are “risk takers, they can think around corners.” “What STEAM [STEM + Arts] means, it should feel like Steve Jobs, what he did for America,” Mr. Maeda said. “It is an innovation strategy for America.” 

Steve Jobs insisted that computer scientists must work together with artists and designers. He said "...technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.” John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Pixar, has described the equation this way: “Technology inspires art, and art challenges the technology.”  Albert Einstein said, " I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination."