Arts Education

Think Science: STEAM

Sep 23, 2016
Jo Sittenfeld / RISD

For years, STEM has been primary school education’s shiny penny. It’s a focus on developing students and teachers’ talents in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, with an eye toward readying young minds for the jobs of the future.  President Barack Obama’s dream is for American students to “move from the middle of the top in science and math.”

A group of 10- and 11-year-olds giggle as professional cellist Frederic Rosselet flexes his wrist as if he's made of rubber. "Really flexible in your wrist," he tells the students. "It's your arm basically that does the work."

The cello students at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, Calif., drag their bows across their cello's strings, following Rosselet's wrist-shaking lead.

Screeeech. It needs work.

"Guys, wanna try that again? 'Forte' means?"

"Loud!" the students reply.

This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Saginaw, Mich., is one of those places where economic recovery has been slow to arrive. The city has been hit hard over the years by factory shutdowns. Unemployment is high. And people have left, by the thousands.

Now, residents John and Katrina Vowell are trying to help turn things around — with music.

Nathan Cone / TPR

Hundreds of children in San Antonio and the surrounding area take private music lessons. If you, your child or grandchild is among them, there’s a good chance your teacher is part of the San Antonio Music Teachers Association (SAMTA). The group was founded one hundred years ago at the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio, and on March 30, 2015, today’s members—and some of their talented students—gathered to celebrate the occasion with words and music.

Saying Goodbye: Reflections Of A Music Teacher

Mar 28, 2015

This weekend, NPR Ed is featuring dispatches from teachers about the ups and downs of their work.

Early each December, the HR department of Orange City Schools in Pepper Pike, Ohio, places a checklist in our mailboxes. It asks about our employment plans for the next school year. Choices include sabbatical leave, acquiring advanced degrees, and the one everyone dreams of checking: I will be retiring at the end of the current school year.