"Whereas science through its objectivity and rigor distills the human being out of ideas, the arts reconstitute science to include human beings."
Dr. Ainissa Ramirez is a science evangelist, an impassioned champion for science education. She has a Ph.D. in material science from Stanford University, worked at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and spent ten years as an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale University. She has authored over 50 technical papers, co-written two books, and holds six patents. In her book Save Our Science: How to Inspire a Generation of Scientists, Ramirez says, “The 21st century requires a new kind of learner—not someone who can simply churn out answers by rote, as has been done in the past, but a student who can think expansively and solve problems resourcefully. The traditional academic skills of reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic must be replaced with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving, and collaborative and communication skills in order to solve the complex problems of tomorrow.” (source: National Endowment for the Arts)
Ainissa proposes a new way to recast science education from being about memorizing facts, “a trivial pursuit,” to being about problem-solving and thinking for oneself. We need to move away from focusing on tests to showing kids that it’s ok to learn or to take risks. “Children need to explore and to discover. This is how you innovate; you fail your way to your answer. Scientists fail all the time; we just brand it differently. We call it ‘data.”
In the TED talk below, she discusses where Arts and Science meet and how Art should inspire Science and provide it with a vision.
-- Read Let’s fix science education on TED blog
-- Read A Sputnik moment for STEM education on TED blog
-- Watch her TED-Ed lesson "Magical metals, how shape memory alloys work"