Tag Archives: STEAM

Art & Technology

Congratulations to the many students, and their teachers, recognized at the Technology+Art=NOW reception yesterday evening. The artwork is stellar, and you should be incredibly proud!

I also want to thank — and congratulate — Arts Herndon, the organization that organizes this program. I want to thank them for recognizing our artists for excellence and for providing monetary scholarship awards to encourage these students in their endeavors. That may all make sense but it may seem less clear why I would want to congratulate them as well. 

I want to congratulate them for their vision.   Arts Herndon recognizes that significant advances in creativity and innovation are happening at the place where art and technology intersect. The Technology+Art=NOW program is a clear demonstration of this belief, but the really impressive part is that they have been doing this for ten years! Kudos, my friends, Kudos!

Fore more information about the program, go to the ARTSPACE Herndon website, or read the FCPS news release


NASA says ART!

NASA director Charles Bolden was at a local high school today giving a talk to the astronomy classes. One of the art teachers, Kenny, jumped on the opportunity to take his advanced photography and computer graphics students to listen. Kenny shared his opening thoughts:

“He began his talk, addressing the importance of art on advancements in science and how all that NASA does would not be possible without the creativity of artists.”

NASA's Charles Bolden speaking at a local high school
NASA’s Charles Bolden speaking at a local high school

Thanks for sharing, Kenny!


NAEA: Writing and Art

There are dozens of presentations in the catalog addressing a relationship between art instruction and another discipline: Art and Writing, Art and Science, Art and Math, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). 

Bettyann Plisker’s presentation, Spark Creativity: Merge Writing and Art, included a message that I hope is being reiterated in each of these. 

Keep art instruction at the forefront. 

Bettyann did a great job illustrating how writing supports art instruction, not the other way around. Several specific examples were shared that showed how using writing in art instruction served to meet art standards and happened to, at the same time, meet writing standards. 

Writing in art supports and improves student learning. That’s why we do it — not to validate our curriculum by teaching a “more important” subject at the same time. 

I hope this is the message you are hearing at the other Art and… sessions. 


This year a few of our schools worked with the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) to develop some exciting STEAM projects.  Check out this video to hear about some of the innovative ways schools were integrating the arts and sciences.

GRACESTEAMAt the risk of driving away viewers, I am using the glorious visage of my buddy, John Adams. Thanks, John, for all of your work to support these projects!



Nuggets from NOLA #11

IMG_0291While in New Orleans, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the intersections of art, design, and STEAM instruction. As I see it there are a two distinct dynamics in play:

  • We are exploring design in art instruction (the theme of the conference), and
  • We are trying to figure out what quality STEAM instruction looks like.

What I don’t hear is a clear message that these two go together. A strong design unit can easily integrate several STEAM disciines. Take a simple example: Design a Lamp.

Think how easy it would be to incorporate all of the STEAM disciplines in this.

  • Make the design aesthetic.
  • Diagram the design
  • Build a model
  • Consider the effects of light color and quality
  • Present the design digitally
  • Build and wire a prototype
  • You could even research materials, sourcing, and production cost

I think if we look, we may find that many of the best design lessons are excellent examples of STEAM instruction. Maybe we need to share this with the leaders in our schools.

Art Unit Enhanced by Technology

K-12 students are excited by technology — engrossed in it — connected to it in ways many of us, who are not digital natives, cannot begin to understand.  A variety of technologies have amazing potential to enhance art instruction and student learning by taking advantage of this natural connection. I’d like to share one such exciting example — an architecture lesson I saw recently.

Student architecture project
Student architecture project

Continue reading Art Unit Enhanced by Technology