Elemenary and Secondary Education Activities?
Hi all. I am a chemist working on, among other things, STEM education in elementary and secondary schools. I am not an illustrator, though as a scientist I am a consumer.
Britt suggested that I post my questions here to sample the community and solicit ideas on how scientific illustration can play a role in and benefit from pre-college education opportunities.
My approach to this issue is informed very little by my understanding of the science illustration community (I don't know how many of you there are, and how large the market is/could be). Instead, it derives from my work as an educator, as one who has seen arts education disappear in order to devote more time to core subjects. What can be done to change this?
You may be aware of emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education; are you aware of a subset of educators and advocates of STEAM education (where A is for Arts)? If economic success is underpinned by innovation and creativity, then any subject that communicates this in addition to perspective, balance, and vision can be of great value.
Yet, when it becomes time to defend programs, too often, the wagons are circled and certain subjects are left behind. So, for you some questions:
1. Do you feel that scientific illustrators are better served by science or arts education in high school (and before), or is a balance preferred?
2. What is the market for science illustrators? Am I barking up the wrong tree by advocating something that might increase the pipeline of future illustrators?
3. How would you ideally integrate sciences and arts at this level? I'm particularly interested in opportunities to bring arts to technical courses, as well as approaches that give more science to arts education.
Thanks in advance for your inputs. I look forward to hearing your replies.
Chris Thomas, PhD