Archive for February 28th, 2010


STEM Message

February 28, 2010

Some STEAMY Thoughts on Creativity submitted by Pete Mickelson

Pete Mickelson taught Pre-Engineering for a year at the Fiddlehead Art and Science Center in Gray

Last month a bunch of us attended the STEM Summit in Augusta, where the focus was on the NSF’s new acronym for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”  The day was spent discussing how important these are to Maine’s economy, and how we need folks with these skills to attract firms from away to come settle here.

It was a great event, and the word “creative” was heard a lot.  Argy Nestor was there, too, and we shared a few thoughts on the “A” (arts) word during a moment’s break.  For fun, I built her a car out of a handout on the table, a couple of free pencils and some give-away Life Savers.

You see, I’m an engineer — whatever that means.  My Dad was, too, so I sort of grew up knowing I was. In fact, I grew up thinking all kids were engineers. I’ve always been curious, thrill at using my ingenuity, delight in showing off my inventions, keep trying when they don’t work right . . .

Do you know anyone like that?

Okay . . . do you know the meaning of the word “art?”  It literally means “one’s ability to make things.”  And things that are made are “artifacts.”  In fact, “fact” means “to make.”

So where is “art” in all this discussion of STEM? Argy suggested it was right in the middle, and I couldn’t argue with her.  “STEAM”  How appropriate!  It was — after all — the steam ‘engine’ that brought about the revolution in our way of living.  And “engine” is from the Latin word for ingenuity.


Artist Residency w/Henry Wolyniec

February 28, 2010

The Telling Room

With the help of a SMART Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, Portland artist Henry Wolyniec is working in conjunction with The Telling Room teaching comics to groups of ELL (English language learners) students in Portland middle schools.

The schools involved are King, Lincoln and Lyman Moore. The classes are a series of 8 sessions per student group that take place during class hours in their classrooms. The focus is on storytelling through the visual medium of drawing comics, using a combination of pictures and words to relate ideas, stories and personal histories.

If you have questions or would like to learn more please contact Henry Wolyniec.

%d bloggers like this: