I am passionate about STEM education, especially for students who might have struggled with STEM topics in the past. As an artist-turned-scientist myself, I am profoundly cognizant of the challenges young people face as they begin to embrace and master technology. I know how difficult it can be to take on the steep learning curve of programming. But I also know how rewarding it is to create technological solutions that solve important problems. I have developed courses in interactive media, user experience, web design and development, usability, computer graphics, animation, and digital photography. In these courses, I meet students where they are. Students engage in exciting projects that require creativity, innovation, and computational thinking.
Interactive Electronic Art
Since 2016, I have co-led a weeklong summer camp at the Toledo Museum of Art in which students learn to program Arduino components and integrate them with original sculpture and painting. Thomas Roberts and I developed a curriculum that focuses on providing opportunities for students to creatively engage in authentic problem-solving activities.
In designing the camp, we sought to encourage the development of students’ introductory proficiency with coding while providing opportunities for students to develop interpersonal skills. The two formal goals of the camp were to provide access and opportunity to learning to code and to develop students’ abilities to communicate, collaborate, and apply critical thinking and creativity to solving problems.
We used increasingly complex challenges to engage students in authentic problem-solving. The first four days of camp were spent at the art museum where students worked with Arduino kits to learn basic programming that was then incorporated into art projects. In addition to creating projects, students spent time guided through the galleries to glean essential insights from featured pieces that could be synthesized into their work. On the final day, students traveled to the BGSU campus to see applications of art and robotics, visit research labs, and to present their projects to members of the university community.