Help the NAA put the A in STEAM

by Laurel Meny

For dozens of years now, educators and business people have emphasized the importance of a STEM-based education curriculum – one that encourages the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math to the next generation. But, a new movement that is taking hold adds the ‘A’ in arts to replace STEM with STEAM. But, why? What is the importance of arts education in a well-rounded student? Actually, the facts are quite interesting.

The included infographic created by the University of Florida shows the “half-brain” education – or one that relies heavily on either left brain or right brain subjects – is truly not in the best interest of students, or employers for that matter. By studying successful individuals who displayed strong characteristics from both sides of the brain, we are able to see the importance of seeing things from not only a technological perspective, but from a creative perspective. Some examples include Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Marissa Mayer.

• Students who study the arts for four years in high school score 98 points higher on the SATs compared to those who study the same for half a year or less.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Students who study the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
• Students who study the arts are three times more likely to be recognized for school attendance.

Arts education helps students build confidence, develop motor skills, and hone their decision-making and problem-solving skills. It helps people adapt to a changing world by better understanding diverse cultures. At the Naples Art Association, these findings are nothing new. We know first-hand the importance of arts education. While we see school budgets shrinking for the arts, we are gradually increasing our classes, workshop, and exhibits geared toward the younger generation.

We provide hands-on arts education to over 1,200 students in and around Naples each year. Every summer, we offer our popular ARTScool program which provides project-based learning that incorporates math, science, language, history, technology, art, and design to painting,
drawing, constructing buildings, creating comic books, designing jewelry, producing digital artwork, hand building with clay, printmaking, and assembling 3D sculptures—and so much more.

How can you help add the ‘A’ in STEAM for a student? Donate to the NAA and give them the opportunity to attend ARTScool. The cost is just
$125 to send one child to ARTScool for a week. Contact the NAA today at 239.262.6517 or visit for more information.

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