We’re excited about a unique conference being held on May 16 and 17 that brings together our dual interests in arts participation and informal science education. The Art of Science Learning, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, will look at how the arts can be used to strengthen science, technology, engineering and math learning and spark creativity in the 21st century American workforce. We hope to see our arts and science museum colleagues there.
The Chicago conference, hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, follows a similar convening held recently in Washington, DC, and will be followed next month by a San Diego edition. The three conferences are an initiative of the Learning Worlds Institute, a New York-based nonprofit that merges arts, business, and the sciences to solve global problems. The Art of Science Learning conferences grew out of concerns that the U.S. now lags behind other nations in the scientific literacy and innovation capacity of its workforce.
Presenters will showcase interdisciplinary methods and techniques used by educators and artists, share current research into the impact of arts-based approaches on science education, and explore the connection between the arts and American economic competitiveness. Among the educators, scientists, artists, business leaders, researchers and policymakers on the agenda, the speakers will include:
- Walter Massey, President of The School of the Art Institute
- Harvey White, co-founder of Qualcomm
- Randy Cohen, VP for Policy & Research at Americans for the Arts
- Nick Rabkin, Teaching Artist Research Project lead at the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (who is frequently mentioned on our blog
Sessions will feature interactive and arts-based plenary activities by some of the world’s leading practitioners of arts-based learning, designed to give participants first-hand experience with how artistic skills, processes and experiences can foster creative thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Slover Linett’s arts & culture leader Sarah Lee is looking forward to attending the conference on Monday and Tuesday. “This is exciting for us because, within our museums practice, we straddle the art world and informal science learning,” she notes. “Rarely do we get to explore the intersection of these two disciplines, which these conferences are doing in a potentially transformative way.”
Registration is still open and we encourage our colleagues and friends to check it out. For a discounted rate of $199, please contact Liz Dreyer at the Art of Science Learning project office. We hope to see you there!