2015 Bezos Scholar Gabby Paras and educator Kevin Yourman showcased the arts and sciences through their Local Ideas Festival, STEAM Arts Fest.
After hearing then Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival on the benefits of integrating science with art a, Gabby knew she wanted her Local Ideas Festival to show how the arts as a medium can promote deeper learning of more analytical subjects.
During the school year, the STEM Arts Fest team worked with district administration and teachers to integrate arts into existing curriculum of both core and elective subjects. From skits and songs to dances and poems, more than 900 student projects were created in Port of Los Angeles High School middle and high school classrooms.
The STEM Arts Fest culminated in a talent show, where more than 250 visual and performing student artists demonstrated their understanding of the sciences through art, literature, music, and dance. During the first year of the event, the winning student performance was a multimedia video explaining the concept of moles. Other submissions included a rap about the solar system and artistic interpretations of code.
“People call me the “STEAM” girl at school. I’m glad! The STEAM festival was a prime example of service above self. It reshaped and revitalized the Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) curriculum, and how teachers approach STEM and elective subjects,” reflects Gabrielle. “This STEAM initiative will continue to improve the teaching methods at POLAHS, and allow students new ways to learn course material.” Gabby was right! The event celebrated its third year in 2018.
For more on the STEAM Talent Show, check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steamfestival/