Media Arts in Support of Science Education

Symposium:


Presentation Title:

  • Media Arts in Support of Science Education

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • This paper examines the role of media arts in the development of interactive learning environments for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The use of technology-mediated interactive environments already provides greater access for science learning to wider, more diverse, and especially younger audiences. Since children typically enjoy playing computer games and interacting with new technology, media art provides a motivating setting for science education. The movement to integrate science and art to examine convergence points, and how the fields can empower each other, has already begun. However, the role of arts and artists in the design of advanced applications for STEM education has yet to become subject for research and implementation in mainstream cultural institutions and educational programs. Collaborative, interdisciplinary teams of artists, technologists, and scientists developed novel interactive learning projects that educate the public on fundamental science (STEM) disciplines. Five interactive educational applications were designed based on the leading art and design concepts with a focus on user engagement, interactive design, and aesthetics principles. With these principles at their center, these applications and their educational content were designed to create interactive and engaging learning experiences. We describe the role of art in the development of these projects and examine how artists can cross disciplinary borders to collaborate in the development of innovative educational STEM learning applications.

    Introduction
    Interactive 3D applications and visual storytelling are of increasing relevance in our dynamic contemporary culture. Results of art, science, and technology collaborations can directly affect educational and pedagogical practice and society at large. In the last few years, there have been a number of meetings that studied art and science convergences supported by efforts of the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (HCI), as well as other institutions (Comer 2011; STEAM 2011). Despite these efforts, the integration of arts in science education has yet to become subject for research and implementation in mainstream cultural institutions and educational programs. To date, little research has been conducted to investigate the role of art, aesthetics, and creative storytelling in the design of advanced technologies for education. In this paper, five professional artists involved in contemporary practice examine how media art applications influence informal science education. Each of the authors led the artistic development of independent interdisciplinary interactive learning applications that educate the public on fundamental science disciplines. We describe our case studies and the role of artists in the design of STEM educational projects.

Venue(s):


Category: