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January 16, 2013


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Steve Kelley

This post makes a great point about the inter-relatedness of visual learning and scientific or engineering learning. The new Next Generation Science Standards which Minnesota is helping to develop move us in the right direction by incorporating concepts such as scale that have application in the arts and in engineering. The concept of cross-cutting practices that apply in both science and engineering calls out for an exploration in our schools of how model-building, for example, relates to architecture or to literature.

Yvonne Ng

Steve, I love how you bring up the arts.

Root-Bernstein has other articles on how the upper echelon of scientists and engineers actually engage in more artistic pursuits (from studio arts to performing to creative writing) than the average person. They cite how those endeavors develop many of the skills to be useful for engineers (as summarized in my book, Engineering for the Uninitiated): spatial skills, tools and technology, communication, and creativity.

I also feel the frameworks for the Next GenerationScience Standards keep things simple and direct while respecting the interconnection of experiences needed for successful science and engineering. I hope the new standards created to implement the framework follow the same KISS (keep it simple sweetie) philosophy so they are accessible and implementable by more and in multiple ways through connections like art, literature, history, and even civics!

lucy lyons

What experiences and materials available to preschool children and teachers might help develop the spatial visualization skills that are needed?

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