Liberty Science Center specializes in finding creative ways to get New Jersey school kids excited about science. This year, among the many hands-on experiences, the arts are providing a new entryway into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM.
LSC is featuring “The Art of Science,” an exhibition of the top 45 photographs from Princeton University’s annual competition of the same name. Madeline Orton files this report from Jersey City.
“There’s a huge amount of excitement about the arts and in integrating the arts into STEM and we’re trying to, in our outreach portfolio, ask kids to use every opportunity to integrate their talents in arts, humanities and writing into an examination of STEM,” said Dan Menelly, VP of Stem Education at LSC.
So how does this cross curricular approach affect science education at places like LSC? “When you include the arts in science and engineering and technology, you begin to have a whole different way of looking at problems and coming up with new and innovative solutions,” said Robert Morrison, President of Quadrant Arts Education Research.
According to Andrew Zwicker, Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, looking at science from an aesthetic, creative perspective makes it more accessible to many more people.
“What this does is help break down that wall, I think, because now all of a sudden you go — ‘that’s a beautiful image and if I read an explanation of it, I can start to understand it,’” said Zwicker.
The Art of Science runs through March 17.