Three teachers in the San Diego Unified School District and a district employee have been named fellows of the Art of Science Learning Incubator for Innovation San Diego — local branch of an effort that uses the arts to spark creativity in science education.

Art of Science Incubator team. Image courtesy of San Diego Unified School District

Kathryn Smart of the Office of Accountability and teachers Jennifer Pickering of Serra High, Laura Berlin of Clairemont High and Sarah Trueblood-Luke of Roosevelt Middle School will join 10 other local teams to develop new water-related educational programs that integrate arts-based approaches into STEM learning, products or services around water conservation in the San Diego region.

Funded by a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, these nationwide think-and-do-tanks are designed to spark and strengthen the creativity skills and innovative capabilities of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learners and professionals through arts-based experiences.

Chicago and Worcester, Mass., have similar programs.

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is hosting the yearlong fellowship program brings together 100 participants diverse in expertise and life experience from the San Diego and Tijuana regions for an intensive course in innovation.

Expert faculty provide incubator Fellows arts-based techniques in sculpture, drawing, dance, drama and music for generating, transforming, prototyping and communicating creative ideas. These experiences act as a catalyst for creativity in science education and foster the development of a skilled 21st century STEM workforce.

With the focus of San Diego’s Incubator being the STEM-related civic challenge of regional water supply and demand, an interactive exhibit is planned for the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center as part of its offerings during the 2015 Balboa Park Centennial Celebration, followed by an exhibition in Chicago, Worcester, and other cities nationwide.

For more information, visit artofsciencelearning.org/.

— From a San Diego Unified news release

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