a STEM and Liberal Arts Collaboration

A few weeks ago I came across a Washington Post article by Dr. Loretta Jackson-Hayes, associate professor of chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN entitled “We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training”. The title alone resonated with me because Agnes Scott College is a Liberal Arts institution which is attempting to infuse STEM into the curriculum and and vision of many of its programs. The article shows how STEM and Liberal Arts can and should work in tandem to create better science and technology producers. A Liberal Arts education affords the ability to communicate and analyze various subjects and pairing that with a strong sense of Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math can ensure that a student and then professional is strongly equipped with the ability to communicate their work in a public space.

Specifically at Agnes Scott College, our institution prepares students to be able to use strong written and verbal communication. A technologist or mathematician with the ability to write, analyze and verbally communicate has a significant edge over the competition and could bring about stronger innovation as a result. The need for interdisciplinary training is clear and Agnes Scott, along with the SUMMIT initiative and the Center for Digital and Visual Literacy, amongst other campus resources are here to assist in taking these type of educational collaborations to the next level.

– Summiyah A. Siddeeq
Digital Design Coordinator

“Scientists are often unable to communicate effectively because, as Cornell University president David J. Skorton points out, “many of us never received the education in the humanities or social sciences that would allow us to explain to nonscientists what we do and why it is important.”

“Our culture has drawn an artificial line between art and science, one that did not exist for innovators like Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs. Leonardo’s curiosity and passion for painting, writing, engineering and biology helped him triumph in both art and science; his study of anatomy and dissections of corpses enabled his incredible drawings of the human figure. When introducing the iPad 2, Jobs, who dropped out of college but continued to audit calligraphy classes, declared: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.”