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Explore Connections between STEM and the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities is hosting a series of Google+ Hangouts on Air (hangouts available for public view) to illustrate how the sciences, arts, and humanities together respond to challenges and spur innovation. Each hangout brings together experts from these worlds to share their experiences and insights. The first hangout introduced the topic and gave examples of NEH-funded projects that include STEM. It featured Dr. Cathy Davidson, a member of the National Council on the Humanities, Bess Evans, Public Engagement Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr. Danielle Carnival, Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The second Hangout expanded the conversation to include representatives from NEH sister agencies—Bill O’Brien on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts and Helen Wechsler on behalf of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR 1), Congressman Aaron Schock (IL 18) and Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda explained the STEM to STEAM movement, an ongoing effort to integrate arts, design and humanities into STEM education. Perry Collins, a Program Officer in NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities, and Mary Downs, a Senior Program Officer in NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access, gave examples of how NEH grantees use the sciences and humanities to preserve artifacts and make them accessible in new digital formats.

The third Hangout in the series, on Monday September 23rd, 2pm ET, will share how K-12, college and university educators are bringing these principles into the classroom. Dr. Cathy Davidson will return to share her experiences as a professor at Duke. She will be joined by Carol Peters the Director of EDSITEment, NEH’s lesson plan website, and Maria Sosa from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They have been collaborating on a series of lesson plans for EDSITEment that will include both science and humanities components. They will explain how teachers can teach both the sciences and humanities in a lesson on Galileo.