Emily Pokojski, a teacher in Swansea, talks with Hunter Hicks of Edwardsville about his clean up robot.

Andrew Nwacha, of Glen Carbon, works on his sculpture.More than 70 first through 11th grade students attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s new STEAM summer camp option July 20-31. The students participated in a special art lab during the University’s Odyssey Science Camp that encouraged creative thinking as it related art-making processes to the camp’s science content.

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The STEAM model encourages interdisciplinary learning as it promotes the inclusion of art in the emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math education.

“The art lab provided a fantastic environment for inquisitive learners,” said Justin Sutters, assistant professor of Art Education in the College ofArts and Sciences at SIUE. “We were thrilled with the participants’ enthusiasm and creative thinking as they were presented with multiple ways of understanding our lived experiences.”

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Sutters said all of the projects students worked on in the art lab referenced nature and related biology to their daily activities. The art and science integration provided students with richer, more personal learning experiences.

“Participants were privy to numerous lessons and activities that referenced chemical changes inherent to various artistic processes,” Sutters said. “Some students were able to see our new 3D printer in operation, while others built various models and structures that relied on mathematic principles.”

The successful introduction of the STEAM art lab is one of many robust artistic opportunities SIUE’s Department of Art and Design offers children. Sutters hopes STEAM will continue to be explored and developed as the University emphasizes the re-engagement in the value of art.

Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences has 19 departments and 85 areas of study. More than 300 full-time faculty/instructors deliver classes to more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty help students explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region's workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

Christine Blackwell, of Bethalto, concentrates on her artwork.

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