STEAM 101: Where Art and Science Collide

As the acronym STEM—short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—has become increasingly well known, an offshoot of the concept is gaining momentum in both the science and art communities. STEAM is where art and the STEM fields collide, often with truly breathtaking results. Art can help us understand scientific concepts in new ways, showcase phenomena not often seen by the public, or just help us appreciate the beauty of the scientific world.

Get a preview of three fantastic STEAM projects here:

Image credit: Maya inamura / aaas

If you live in Washington, D.C., the gallery at AAAS is currently showcasing an exhibit called 'Gedankenexperiment.' The exhibit was created in collaboration with the Washington Sculptors Group, and is centered around a term coined by Albert Einstein used to describe thought experiments. (Schrodinger's cat is a famous example of such an experiment.) The pieces in the exhibit explore this scientific concept through art, a great example of STEAM in action.

Image credit: O. Stryzak / B. McGuyer / Princeton Art of Science via nbcnews.com

Princeton University's Art of Science competition recognizes videos and photographs that showcase the beauty of science, like this entry of a Tesla coil in action. The photograph, titled "Now That I Have Your Attention," captures the high-voltage electricity that these inventions are capable of creating. Tesla coils are commonly found in science museums around the world, and while they are stunning if seen in action, this photograph shows that their appeal can be captured in still-life as well.

Image credit: Business Wire via Quartz.com

While 3D printing might have seemed like science fiction just a few years ago, the technology today allows everyday consumers to affordably design 3D-printed objects for themselves. Currently the possibilities are limited to small objects like personalized bobbleheads and jewelry (like these subatomic particle earrings). As the technology improves, though, the possibilities will surely expand as well.

Has STEAM impacted your understanding or appreciation for science in any way? 



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