Art Professors Add STEAM to K-5 Science Learning

Assistant professors Celestia Morgan and Dr. Mina Kim were part of a UA team that presented “STEAM FEST for Green Energy” Family Night and Art Exhibition to Skyland Elementary schoolchildren in April. “STEAM FEST” was part of a study by UA faculty and graduate researchers to explore ways in which science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) can fit into 3rd- through 5th-grade curricula and to investigate student learning through an after-school program centered around fluid mechanics. The STEAM team combined science, visual images, photography and videography, creative writing, and an art exhibition to encourage students’ interest in all those fields. Along with Kim and Morgan, the project team included Dr. Jin Kim (engineering), Dr. Jee Suh (education), and graduate assistants Jale Dursun and Amon Neely and was funded by the Joint Pilot for Arts Research Project, co-sponsored by CARI, and the College of Education and the Office for Research and Economic Development.

Morgan, who teaches photography, provided expertise in photography and image-making. “Students were able to use tablet cameras to capture fluid motion and learn about green energy during the two-day STEAM FEST event,” she said. Morgan also curated the art exhibition for that night, which included paintings, photographs, and videos by the schoolchildren.