Award-winning paper by two BGSU faculty members outlines benefits of combining art and STEM education

schnepp and roberts

Art and robotics advance problem-solving skills at Toledo Museum of Art camp

Adding art into science, technology, engineering and math education helps students engage in authentic problem solving, according to a paper authored by two Bowling Green State University faculty members.

Dr. Jerry Schnepp, associate professor in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering,  and Dr. Thomas Roberts, assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development, were recognized by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) for the top overall article.

The article, titled “Building Problem-Solving Skills through STEAM," references the work they did in a collaborative summer camp with the Toledo Museum of Art.art project plan

Schnepp said the 2019 camp taught coding and computing within the context of interactive art to about a dozen underrepresented students in STEM. Schnepp provided the coding and computing expertise; Roberts, who is experienced with summer camps and pedagogy, designed clear learning outcomes and assessments; and educators at the museum shared art in the museum and developed art projects to align with the lessons.

“These informal learning opportunities provide an ideal setting in which students can engage in authentic problem solving by providing access and opportunity to authentic environments and professionals,” Schnepp said.

computing lessonIn addition to learning about art, coding and computing, the students also developed communication, collaboration and critical-thinking skills, and the creativity to solve problems.

The first four days of the camp were at the museum, where students incorporated coding and computing into art, and the final day was a visit to campus where participants saw applications of art and robotics, visited research labs and presented their projects to members of the University community. 

The camp, which was to return for the third year in 2020, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.