New Orleans' new STEAM camp
In order to solve problems, both sides of the brain need to be utilized. The left side of the brain focuses on facts and known solutions. When a solution is not currently present, that’s when the right side, the creative, innovative side, has to kick in.
Children in the New Orleans area ages 4-12 will have the opportunity to use both sides of their brains during Upturn Arts’ brand new STEAM Camp, which runs July 9 – 20.
“The goal of our program is to teach the foundations of dance, music, visual arts, and theater and use these methods to guide children through the artistic process and encourage self-exploration,” said Alli Womac, program director of Upturn Arts. “By integrating our philosophy with principles of math, science, technology and engineering, we are hoping to create a cross-functional approach to helping students develop vital, transferable skills.”
Typically, arts camps are heavy on the right brain: emotions, intuition, impulse, and creativity. The new STEAM camp will introduce young artists to the left brain by focusing on analysis, logic, and reflection.
Example curriculum includes a partnership with EnergyWise Alliance, touching on topics of energy-efficient homes, recycling, and making decisions based on its impact on the environment. Additionally, Regions Bank will host a session on financial literacy; Mr. Z will show students how to create electronic music; and David Shaw of The Revivalists will teach a songwriting workshop.
“Through an integrated foundation, young artists will investigate, discover, connect, create and reflect on the world around them,” Womac said. “The STEAM theme will place an emphasis on inquiry and collaboration through process-based learning, showing our young artists that art can be found anywhere!”
In this truly unique camp, students will experience music paired with math, visual art paired with science, theater paired with technology, and dance paired with engineering. But ultimately, it will be up to the young artists to determine the problems they will solve together during this two-week session.
The world we live in is rapidly evolving. STEM curriculum has become a major focus in education as the current workforce relies heavily on skills relating to these four areas of study. While students in STEM curriculum have more experiential learning opportunities, they are missing the emphasis on creation, imagination, and ingenuity. That is where the idea of STEAM comes in, and how this camp is poised at the forefront of innovation: art matters, creativity matters.
*Factual information contained within this article was provided by Alli Womac, Program Director, Upturn Arts.