Educational Component: STE(A)M
Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts,) and Math
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is a high school specializing in teaching visual arts and performing arts, situated near Lincoln Center, New York City.
Under the mentorship of Neal L. Singh, a Sloan-Award-winning Earth and Environmental Science Teacher at LaGuardia Arts HS, and Grethe Barrett Holby, MIT graduate and director/conceiver of the “The Three Astronauts” opera, a special after-school tutorial was offered to Advanced Placement (AP) Earth Science high school students, all of whom were majoring in the arts.
The students read the script of the opera, discussed what surprised them, and made a list of questions they had. Among them were:
- Routes to Mars. Is there really more than one route to get to Mars? What are they? And why?
- Severe Solar Storms. Would a solar flare really take out communications to Earth? Why? How?
- Space Junk. The issue of orbital debris surrounding Earth. Directly outside of our home planet floats a dense layer of space junk. What is being done?
- Colors on Mars. Sunsets and sunrises on Mars offer a different palette of colors from those on Earth.
The group as a whole decided which questions to research and turn their findings into video tutorials for other students. They broke into teams to make two videos (below). They also built a mobile app—“Occupy Mars,” aka “MarsArts”—to share their videos, questions, and research.
Ms. Holby then shared these videos and the App at the ISPCS conference in 2015.
Here are the videos they made: