Mixing Art and STEM: New “STEAM” Course Planned for Fall 2015

STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math — has been showing up in universities across the country, with its next stop being YSU. STEAM is a combination of STEM and Art, forming interdisciplinary courses that recognize the overlap between art and STEM. A new course called Design in Practice is planned to start at YSU in Fall 2015 as a general education course.

Kerry Meyers, Assistant Professor of Engineering and the key developer of the new course, said that there is a large overlap between art and engineering.

“The commonality between engineering and art is design. Engineering focuses on design for a specific purpose. Where in Art,  looks at design as expression considering both aesthetic value and the medium. So what you’re doing is bringing the creative values of Art with the functionality aspects of Engineering to create a course focused in cultural factors,” Meyers said.

The course will be dual-taught, with Meyers being the engineer instructor and Christine McCullough being the art instructor. Meyers said that the course is not meant to be a history course or a lecture course, but is intended to be a class where different methodologies, approaches, and implications are explored.

“The interesting thing about it is that it looks at cultural and ethical issues that would affect the community and trying to develop solutions and approaches that consider that. Like doing projects that involve recycled materials or zero energy, zero waste,” Meyers said.