Keep up the music and art lessons for your young child. In a recent study conducted by Michigan State University, a team of multidisciplinary researchers studied a group of MSU Honors College graduates from 1990 to 1995 who majored in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The researchers found of that group, those who own businesses or patents received up to eight times more exposure to the arts as children the general public. The STEM graduates also reported higher-than-average involvement in the visual arts, acting, dance and creative writing. Why? Involvement in the arts fosters out-of-the box-thinking, the researchers said in fact, the group reported using artistic skills such as analogies, playing, intuition and imagination to solve complex problems. To read more about the research conducted by Parker, Roraback, and LaMore check out the article in MSU Today here.
Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School held an Innovation Day. The premise of Innovation Day was to allow the children to create whatever they wanted to for the day. Whether it be building a robot out of recycled materials, creating a musical skit, etc. Innovation Day supports all the goals of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education practices and principles, as well as teaching and learning via inquiry-based practices. In the following video children shared their thoughts of what Innovation Day was all about such as “thinking outside of the box”, “making what I want to do”, “doing what we want to do without the teachers telling us what to do.” This is the type of learning environment schools and teachers should strive to achieve on an everyday basis. Kudos to Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School staff allowing the children to think outside of the box for a day. I’m sure the students and teachers of Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School will never look at learning and teaching in the same way. I’m hopeful that more schools will think outside of the box, and encourage children to innovate rather than regurgitate disjointed, meaningless terms and concepts. Check out the Innovation Day video from Samuel Walker Houston Elementary School here.