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How Buzz Aldrin Added Arts to STEM Curricula and Gave Kids More STEAM for Learning

Updated on December 12, 2014
Sculpture exercises the mind and brain as well as the hands.
Sculpture exercises the mind and brain as well as the hands. | Source

Focus on STEM courses in America in K-12 and college grew during the 2000s and 2010s in order to persuade more children and youth - including girls - to study and accept employment in Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, and Mathematics. Still, their interest wavered, especially after fourth grade. Adding the Arts not only helped their brains to process STEM materials, it added fun! Adding Arts makes STEAM energy!

ShareSpace Foundation for Children and Youth Education

Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation members know that we will never get to Mars and make it habitable without today's elementary school youth in the mid-2010s wanting to enter the fields of math, science, engineering, and technologies as young adults.The youngest of these will be about 25 years old at NASA's target of a 2035 landing. They can be ready to go into space or support astronauts who do go.

We will need people able to help develop asteroid mining, water extraction, energy supplies, colony building, city planning, aerospace medicine, agriculture, waste disposal, and other aerospace businesses that will include tourism. We need youth who are interested now.

Apollo 11 Astronaut Aldrin is also concerned about effective education and avoiding feeding kids misinformation. He is one of the best advocates for useful education and critical thinking for job success that America has on board. At an age in the early 80s, he is as active as William Shatner in nonprofit foundations and aerospace education promotion projects.

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Just over 100 years ago man learned to fly in airplanes, and about half a century later man walked on the moon...The young generation of today will decide what happens next – and STEAM will awaken their senses and ignite their capabilities.

— Buzz Aldrin, ShareSpace.org President & Apollo 11 Astronaut

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Ms. Linn LeBlanc has become Mr. Aldrin's foundation's Executive Director in late 2014. She comes form a background of heading up the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation successfully for a dozen years. Increasing numbers of aerospace related scholarships are becoming available for youth and college-aged people to participate in workshops, seminars, semesters, and full four-year- degree training programs.

LeBlanc's goal, in part, is to take the positive human energy of the STEAM program and deliver it globally to make our youth ready for the jobs of the 2030s. The foundation wants to also ensure that the youth enjoy the journey to career success through a sensible application of fun and useful artistic techniques.

The task of convincing naysayers that the arts are not useless fluff, but vitally important elements of brain training is finally becoming less daunting. Some critics will say "humbug" to their graves, but they likely not stop the arts movement nor refute scientific evidence.

For instance, in the last decade, an increase in the arts in Downtown Nashville Tennessee, spearheaded by artists-musician Beth Inglish McMillian (no relation), her musician husband Chad "Catfish" McMillian, and others has significantly increased the economy of the city overall by drawing people and businesses into that town, along with additional community outreach services. She is now also a columnist for The Tennessean. Art is a good thing.

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

It's a good obsession. The Rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shows us more about the brain and music. Pythagoras knew long ago that music is strongly rooted in mathematics.

 
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The Civil Air Patrol helps

I was happy to join the Aerospace Education part of Civil Air Patrol to help youth explore STEM classes, build rockets, fly model planes, ride shuttle simulators, and explore the possibility of working in aerospace careers in the near future.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield states in his biography that he began training in elementary school by eating healthy foods and concentrating to always do his best in school, chores at home, and everything else. He also learned how to enjoy every task, even if it was a panicky life-or-death matter. He also enjoys photography, sings and plays guitar, even did it all on the International Space Station.

Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies ISS Is Somebody Singing

Bowie's Space Oddity Covered by Hadfield - nearly 25 million views

Ongoing Updates on STEAM and MARS

Stay tuned to news from Buzz Aldrin's space foundation at SHARESPACE.

Will we find ways of surviving long-term in space and on other planets, overcoming physical, fuel, and energy problems? It will be exciting to find out.

Mens Nasa Buzz Aldrin Mars Base Moon Landing Astronaut Tee By Achtung T Shirt LLC
Mens Nasa Buzz Aldrin Mars Base Moon Landing Astronaut Tee By Achtung T Shirt LLC

GYATM phrase taken from "The Terminator" film. Linn LeBlanc says that "when Buzz Aldrin says something he doesn’t sugarcoat it." True that! But you can also get “Generation Mars” and “Get Your Butt to Mars.” Much fun.

 
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© 2014 Patty Inglish MS

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    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I love the idea of STEAM. When I was an engineering student, I spent a lot of time just hanging out in the music building, but it was not part of my curriculum except for one music appreciation elective. I think emphasizing the arts as an integral part of a technical education will definitely make for more well rounded graduates.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty, This struck my ear with such a Utopian tone. It is so far reaching and futuristic making it foreign to what has become the norm. Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s early realization, training, discipline and vision of his future struck a chord and made me wonder for a moment about his parents. What a world it could have been with more souls like Buzz Aldrin’s. You bring such a diverse set of information to your readers.

    • Tom Mukasa profile image

      Tom Mukasa 

      3 years ago from Lives in USA

      Thank you so much. This hub got me all warmed up. I thought about the ancient tribes who took it upon themselves to roam all over the world and start the populations we see today. They must have given us the genes that inturn translate into outcomes such as STEM. I have also enjoyed the brave statement: " ...we will never get to Mars and make it habitable without today's elementary school youth in the mid 2010s wanting to enter the fields of math, science, engineering and technologies as young adults." That is a statement I gravitate to as well. STEM gives steam indeed.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have a lot of admiration for Buzz Aldrin. I just finished reading the authorized biography of Neil Armstrong, which included much information about his fellow crew members. Buzz is a good guy!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Art is good! What great vision the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has in looking ahead to creating job for those in the 2030s. Excellent hub as always, and filled with such hope and insight into the future of combining science with art.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      I hope you have a lovely weekend.

      Blessings always

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A fascinating article with great bits of information.

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