Engineer-founded art gallery offers commitment to add the arts to Academy’s innovative science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) program
Through a $1.2 million grant to Georgia State University to teach integrated computer science, or iCS, the program has taught educators new ways to incorporate STEAM principles into what they call project-based learning (PBL). PBL is a method that uses computational thinking and computer science across all educational areas as part of projects which align with the state’s educational standards. The results are integrated technology, art and civics projects shared with parents and other students at exhibit nights throughout the school year.
“Project-based learning is how we do things at Centennial Academy now,” said Alison Shelton, Associate Head of School for Academic Affairs at Centennial Academy. “The first year was challenging and exciting as our core group of educators learned how to integrate computational thinking into their teaching.
“We feel the momentum as STEAM-integrated PBL has become the culture of our school,” she continued. “This year, we’ve integrated our standards, technology and computational thinking into innovative projects school-wide.”
In recognition of this collaboration, Exhibit Nights have been renamed iCurate, as eighteen class projects as well as individual scholar projects will be on exhibit in a gallery-style installation in the school’s main hall. The events were held Wed. Oct. 19, and Thurs. Oct 20, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Centennial Academy, 531 Luckie Street, Atlanta.
“As engineers, my partners and I understand the connection of technology and the arts,” said Onaje Henderson, one of the gallery’s founders. “The arts are the foundation of creativity, art is in everything.
“All of our artists have an interest in working with children to expose them to the arts and what they do,” Henderson continued. “We have partnered with several schools in the past for various projects. This is the first time that we have worked so closely with a school to put together a full program. We actually have been working with Centennial for about two years. We first hosted a school exhibit in the gallery where we taught some of the young artists how to conduct an artist talk the week prior (to an exhibit). It was great seeing it all come together during our first iCurate nights.”