There is no ‘i’ in team.
But there is an ‘A‘ in STEAM! During our recent field visit, our team partnered with Funarte (refreshing our long-time relationship with this organization that works with youth in rights-based development using art as a means to educate) to infuse some ART to supplement the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts that are currently made available through the curriculum materials pre-loaded on offline servers now available to 27 schools in the BOSAWAS, Nicaragua.
While the activity undertaken was but an introduction to awaken the artistic senses, encouraging students to simply reflect creatively on an oral narrative, the potential to include art in curriculum activities to reinforce concepts and promote problem-solving is much greater. While the students created masterpieces, a teacher workshop was facilitated to convey the value of inspiring and encouraging creativity in various capacities and throughout many subject matters.
Adding ART to STEM activities provides students with the opportunity to learn creatively and to apply 21st century skills such as connection, care, community, and culture!
In addition to supporting curriculum delivery, our education projects in BOSAWAS (Technology and Training for Quality and Equality project (Phase 1) and Technology for Improved Education Project (Phase 2 ongoing)) were both designed to empower youth and prepare them for success in the future knowledge economy by enhancing the capacity of local schools to deliver quality education while also emphasizing the development of 21st Century skills — working collaboratively and creatively, learning through hands-on activities.
We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with FUNARTE, as we have done since our first project together the very first year the organization was founded back in 1987. Integrating art enriches the education experience, reinforcing knowledge, sensitivity, and identity as it relates to self, community, and global activities and concepts.
It also provides an opportunity for recreation! There is joy in creating a masterpiece, in squeezing a paintbrush between fingers – some for the first time – in dipping clean bristles into bright colours, and filling a page with the freedom of expression.