An integrated world

Lucia Monge
Lucia Monge talks about finding common ground where the different viewpoints of scientific and artistic inquiry meet.

“When you have a discovery, you feel like you’re alive,” says Lucia Monge “and I think the arts are very powerful in that sense.” A graduate sculpture student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Monge says integrating art into science is a matter of changing how we think and see; a matter of being open to new perspectives and different viewpoints.

The three RISD graduate students featured in these STEAM Rising videos — Lucia Monge (Sculpture), Melita Morales (Teaching + Learning in Art + Design), and David Kim (Digital + Media) — are all receiving assistantships at RISD’s Edna Lawrence Nature Lab with support through Graduate Studies and/or Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR.

Neal Overstrom, Nature Lab director and Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR partner liaison, notes that all three students have experience as professional educators and training in STEM disciplines, yet they are deeply passionate about the transformative role of art and design in education and research, particularly in relation to the environmental issues. The trio, he says, provide thoughtful expression to the qualities of interdisciplinary inquiry that STEAM represents.

“STEAM is much more than simply including the arts with STEM disciplines,” Overstrom says. “It is a synergy between convergent and divergent thinking, subjective and objective observation, and visual and experimental inquiry that helps us explore complex problems in new and innovative ways.”

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