na2ure on the radio: Chatting with the Cape and Islands about STEAM

Hi! My name is Emma - I came to the na2ure team back in August and I’ve been working in sales and outreach to schools and educational centers.  I love and work with children, I come from a household of educators, and I’m a total closet-hippie who likes to sit in trees, so na2ure unexpectedly joined several of my passions together.  This is my first blog post for na2ure, and coincidentally, it’s about our first radio interview!  

Last week our founders, Alex and Vijal, were invited to speak with Heather Goldstone on Living Lab on NPR.  She broadcasts from Woods Hole, a renowned research facility for Marine Biology, that my environmentalist sister can’t stop talking about.  It’s an amazing place to have had our first chance to share our story on live air.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ART and math) education was the topic of Monday’s show. STEM is a familiar acronym for most educators and parents these days, but STEAM is only just coming into the light.  Ms. Gladstone brought up the point that since STEAM is such a new concept, it doesn’t have a proven track record or materials that would turn it from a philosophy into a usable concept.    

In answer to the first part of that, I get to talk about one of my favorite historical figures: Leonardo da Vinci.  He is a perfect example of art and science going hand-in-hand.  During the Renaissancean age of great thinking, mental exploration and innovationart and science were inseparable!  Da Vinci’s works include beautiful drawings and sketches of inventions of engineering feats that are way before his time!  Would da Vinci’s accumulation of vast quantities of knowledge have been possible without his eye for design and his talent for reproducing what he saw?  I don’t think soand neither does the team at na2ure.

The Vitruvian man - an excellent combination of the art of drawing and the science of anatomy. 

The Vitruvian man - an excellent combination of the art of drawing and the science of anatomy. 

At na2ure, we want to provide our up and coming generation with this key tool to understanding and improving the world around them. We are contributing to the infrastructure of the STEAM movement with the creation of scientific games that also cultivate an interest in, and appreciation for, the beauty and vitality of the natural world.  If children have connected to Nature through detailed, full-color photographs (for example) from a young age, they can be easily taught to want to preserve that beauty.  If they continue to engage with art and creativity in these contexts, then I envision these art-imbued scientists and engineers coming up with the great solutions to our world’s problems.

One of the other STEAM supporters on Living Lab said, “the fusion of art and science gives children the edge to create and innovate.” I really think children are going to need this edge in the upcoming decades. This generation of scientists that are now beginning their education will need to work hard to find creative and sustainable solutions for the problems that are plaguing our natural world.

I am excited to be working on a team that is helping to change the face of education in the way that will benefit not only ourselves, the human race, but the entire planet and all the living beings on it. Signing off for now - enjoy the brisk air and the smell of fir trees in this happy month!