Thursday, April 3, 2014

Art of Science Incubator taps three district staff members as Fellows

The Art of Science Learning Incubator for Innovation San Diego, the local branch of a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that uses the arts to spark creativity in science education and the development of an innovative 21st Century STEM workforce, has named three San Diego Unified staff members as Fellows.
Creating solutions
Kathryn Smart of the Office of Accountability, and teachers Jennifer Pickering from Serra High and Laura Berlin of Clairemont High, will join ten other local teams to develop new water-related educational programs and projects that integrate arts-based approaches into STEM learning, products or services around water conservation in the San Diego region.

Funded by a $2.6 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, these nationwide think-and-do-tanks are designed to spark and strengthen the creativity skills and innovative capabilities of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learners and professionals through arts-based experiences. Chicago, and Worcester, Mass., also have similar programs.

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is hosting the year-long fellowship program brings together 100 participants diverse in expertise and life experience from the San Diego and Tijuana regions for an intensive course in innovation. Expert faculty provide incubator Fellows arts-based techniques in sculpture, drawing, dance, drama and music for generating, transforming, prototyping and communicating creative ideas. These experiences act as a catalyst for creativity in science education and foster the development of a skilled 21st Century STEM workforce.

With the focus of San Diego’s Incubator being the STEM-related civic challenge of regional water supply and demand, an interactive exhibit is planned for the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center as part of its offerings during the 2015 Balboa Park Centennial Celebration, followed by an exhibition in Chicago, Worcester, and other cities nationwide. For more information, visit