S.T.E.A.M. Education Workshops Add Arts, Humanities to Science
One non-profit organization in Lawrence, Kansas is looking to lead the charge when it comes to blending the humanities with traditional S.T.E.M. learning. This approach is not “more art than science,” or vice versa. It’s a balanced blend of both.
The “A” in the acronym S.T.E.A.M. quite literally adds art to the traditional science, technology, engineering and math construct. A series of workshops are being hosted by the Life Restoration Ministries Foundation in partnership with the Center for Universal STEM and Humanities.
Dr. Shakiyya Bland founded this culturally-based STEAM learning program. Dr. Bland recently hosted a workshop at the Lawrence Public Library where students (grade 3 through 5) learned about the biomechanics of a human hand. The workshop explored more than just the nuts and bolts of the machinery. A cultural context was applied.
“So when we talk about STEM or STEAM, we want to make sure that there is a cultural competence, so we are bringing in black history and people of the global majority into this context,” Dr. Bland said.
This is giving a chance for students to connect their cultural identities to S.T.E.A.M. education. Dr. Bland has been an educator in the public school system in Lawrence and other areas. She is excited by the synergy of these workshops, saying that children “can see how their community merges to science, to arts, and to mathematics.”
The group is looking to partner with other local schools and extracurricular programs. Events are free to participate in and open to everyone. Feel free to contact us below if you’re an educator who would like to collaborate. Follow us on Facebook to learn about more upcoming workshops like this.