Successfully melding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the arts (STE+aM) has long been a challenge at all levels of education.
For UC San Diego Extension STE+aM facilitator Kim Richards, that quest has led her to showcase and promote programming that encourages interplay between left-brain and right-brain thinking.
On Oct. 27-28, Richards will co-facilitate a global roundtable forum, “STE+aM: Powering Creativity & Collaboration,” in Doha, Qatar, joining 25 fellow STE+aM educators from the U.S., Brazil and Qatar. Out of 17 representatives from the U.S., only two are from California, including Richards.
“I’m honored to join Qatar Foundation Institute in their mission to put STE+aM into practice to change the face of education in Qatar and throughout the world,” said Richards. “I’m eager to share what we’re doing in San Diego, to learn what others are doing around the world, and to find ways to collaborate and shift the movement to a global one.”
For the past three years, STE+aM programs have been initiated throughout the San Diego region. Among the more innovative courses now taught at several public and private high schools are “Wearable Electronics,” “Creative Computing” and “CSI Coding.”
Project coordinator has been Edward Abeyta, PhD, director of UC San Diego Extension’s K-16 educational programs. Working together, Abeyta and Richards have been at the forefront of the STE+aM movement in San Diego and beyond. Together, they co-founded STE+aMConnect, a collaborative between UC San Diego Extension and Richards’ San Diego-based public relations firm, KDR PR.
“Brains come with two sides for a reason,” said Abeyta. “They need each other. One reasons, the other feels. And what happens when they work together is magical.”
Immediately following the STE+aM roundtable, Richards will remain in Qatar for several days to attend the 2013 WISE Summit (World Innovation Summit for Education) in Doha, Oct. 29-31. The event brings together more than 1,000 prominent leaders from around the world to explore the latest innovations in education.