Earlier this week I went to MICA in Baltimore (and last month to CDI in Winston-Salem) to meet with a diverse group of very forward thinking individuals on the topics of art, science, education, innovation and all the ancillary things that get wrapped around that, in other words: the whole universe.
Folks from the NSF, NEA, several academic institutions, hackerspaces, and industry came together to start a discussion about advocating for an educational system that reminds us art and science do not need to be taught separately; and that formal and informal educational spaces have benefits of working together and sharing their research, be it citizen scientists and tenured professors, k5 to grey, cats and dogs, and other predetermined groups that result in mass hysteria. Creativity happens everywhere, in every subject matter, as does science – this is something we’ve witnessed at NYCResistor from the amazing projects people bring in every Thursday night at craft night. Our tagline at NYCR is we learn, share, and make things – not unlike the goals and missions of academic institutions.
The group has been given legs from a joint effort from the NSF and NEA and has yet to choose a name and website to point to, but is called NSEAD (Network to support Science, Engineering, Arts and Design) under the grant proposals. I am hopeful in the initiatives we will all be able to accomplish together. Members of this group previously have founded the STEM to STEAM initiative, including Art in the STEM curriculum and held a congressional hearing along these efforts. The discussion is just starting, and is being seeded with thoughts of innovation without walls, economic development, open research, art/science mashup exhibits, and even elephants. I’m honored and excited that the DIY community and hackerspaces have a place at this table.
Stay tuned, tell me your thoughts, and hack on – whatever your day job is.