Art and Academics

Art is often considered a side serving when it comes to education. Many consider the main course to be the “STEM” subjects. The “STEM” subjects being Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics. This is unforunate because of all of the benefits inherent in arts education. Art teaches students the importance of creativity and how to use it. Look at some of the most successful people in the world. Most of them are successful because of their creativity. But this article is not about the benefits of art education. Instead it is about a recent trend of appreciation of the arts and how the Arts are actually naturally infused within the ” STEM” subjects. In fact, many have begun to notice the correlations between the arts and the STEM subjects. Some are exploring new ways to teach the STEM disciplines in their classrooms and are turning to the arts to help. Why not sing the Periodic table or dance the graphing of an equation? Using these strategies to teach may result in students becoming more active learners, help them retain information, and most importantly, make learning fun. Two projects seek to blur the lines between the Arts and the STEM disciplines. These projects have different approaches but similar missions.

Taken from
What is ArtSTEM?
“The ARTStem initiative is inspired by artists and scholars who efface the lines between “the arts” and the “STEM” disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics—from Brecht’s Galileo and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange’s Ferocious Beauty: Genome to John Adams’ opera Doctor Atomic and Jonah Lehrer’s recent bestseller, Proust Was a Neuroscientist. In its inaugural year, ARTStem will bring academic and arts faculty members from UNCSA together with an interdisciplinary team of public school educators for an academic summer seminar about teaching and learning at the intersection of the arts and STEM disciplines, followed by a year of creative teaching collaborations and programming. ARTStem continues the Kenan Institute’s commitment to leveraging resources in support of K-12 public education in North Carolina, and aims to provide valuable professional enrichment opportunities for public school teachers while exploring new directions for learning in and through the arts. For 2009-2010, the public school partner institution is RJ Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem.”

The Intersections Project
The following taken from
“In a unique partnership and professional development opportunity, artists and classroom educators worked together to develop arts integrated lesson plans and residencies for classroom applications, all of which support the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in multiple disciplines. These lessons, along with documentation from their classroom implementation and other resources, serve as the foundation for this educational website.

SECCA launched TIP with a collaboration between art and science educators from RJ Reynolds and Mount Tabor high schools along with public artists Jimmy O’Neal and Kyungmi Shin. Lesson plans and residencies were inspired by the artists’ public works that were commissioned for Winston-Salem’s Downtown Center for the Arts.

During the planning phase of the project (December 2009–February 2010) commissioned artists, SECCA staff, Arts Council staff, and WS/FCS art and science educators, worked collaboratively to develop a series of arts integrated lesson plans. The team of teachers from RJ Reynolds consisted of Matt Fussell, art educator and Ashley Witherspoon, science educator. The team of teachers from Mount Tabor consisted Alice Morley, art educator and Taryn Kendig, science educator.

The Intersections Project will continue as artists from upcoming SECCA exhibitions partner with educators to design exciting learning opportunities, all of which will all be available on the TIP website.

For more information on The Intersections Project please contact Michael Christiano, SECCA Curator of Education, at or 336.397.2108.”

Matt is an artist and teacher. He loves sharing his passion for art with others and teaching students from all over the globe. He has been featured in various publications and has produced commissioned art for clients both regionally and internationally. He is the owner of the

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