BOISE -- Many of us have heard of the acronym STEM when it comes to education: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, one artist is looking to add some creativity to that by adding the letter "A."
At Frank Church High School they're taking a little different approach when it comes to STEM education.
"The insertion of the arts into STEM and it's really the secret sauce. The arts help to stimulate the creativity and innovation," artist Patrick Hunter said.
Patrick Hunter, a former Boisean and artist, is calling it "STEAM:" science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
"The world’s most notable engineers and creative people are people that were not only scientists and engineers, but they were also artists," Hunter said.
Friday, "STEAM" was in full effect. Students at Frank Church High School were given five characters with different needs. Their task was to build a chair that would fit those needs.
"They don't have a clue the amount of engineering, as they're building it they're using structural engineering, they're using design from the aesthetic piece of it and they're learning from each other," Hunter said.
There were five rounds and with each round the materials the students could use would change.
"It's challenging trying to work with some of these materials and it gets a little frustrating not being able to get it to work at one time," senior Joey McGuire said.
There was one specific material that seemed to get all the students chairs to go timber.
"The popsicle sticks and that tape. It just did not, didn't want to work with us," McGuire said.
The students at Frank Church believed adding the "A" makes a lot of sense.
"I really enjoy the fact they put art in there because he's right that's where the creativity comes from, that's where innovation comes from," McGuire said.
Junior Autumn Richards agrees. "You actually see how to design something. You learn the mathematics, what goes where, how long you need it. I think it all works really good together."
At the end of the day Hunter showed firsthand how he uses "STEAM" by painting a picture of Albert Einstein.
"I picked him because he is a great example of "STEAM." He was a violinist, classically trained violinist. He loved the structure of classical music and that actually helped inspire him. He would often turn to music when he was struggling to solve a problem," Hunter said.
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