Hey Bill Nye, ‘Do I Have to Choose Between a Science and Arts Education?’ #TuesdaysWithBill

Hey Bill Nye, ‘Do I Have to Choose Between a Science and Arts Education?’ #TuesdaysWithBill

Bill Nye the Science Guy explains how reinvigorating basic research and development in our schools resulted in the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and why new acronyms are emerging.

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Transcript – Sam Passer: Hi Bill Nye this is Sam Passer. And my question for you is, as an art student myself, do I have to choose between art and science for our next generations to thrive or can art and science coexist? Please let me know. Thanks.

Bill Nye: Sam! Sam! Sam! Art and science have to coexist. They’re both human endeavors. However, just keep in mind I am a science guy and like this that science, this process that humans have developed seems to be, to my way of thinking, the best idea we’ve had, the best idea we’ve had about how to know nature, how to know our place in the world, in the cosmos. But without art we would hardly be people. Art is created by people and it inspires each of us. It’s the way we send messages. It’s the way we motivate each other or keep each other from doing something. Art is part of us. We don’t want art or science, we want to both. With that said, a little commentary about our current controversy in education in the United States, everybody goes on and on with this acronym STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. And this is a fine acronym. It talks about or it was created to address what was a clear need here in the United States after people landed on the moon, investment in basic research was curtailed, except in the military spending. And so we stopped, the United States stopped doing as much basic research as it had been doing and so to reinvigorate this people created this acronym and there’s all these science, technology, engineering and math programs in school. It’s good. It’s good. Now people talk about STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math. Well good. Yes. And I’ve heard STEAMD: science, technology, engineering, art, math and design. Okay. Pretty soon the acronym is going to have all the letters that we would call the school, just school. You go to school and you’ve got to have math; you’ve got to have language arts, English in my case and the United States were English is the primary language; you’ve got to have a history; you got to have a – I’d like us to have civics about the U.S. Constitution and the behavior and the way the government is created; and we’ve got to have art; you got to have science. Yes. We’ve got to have all of that. But this tacking stuff on this acronym that became so popular, STEM, is okay, everybody but let’s not forget we got to do everything. It’s not one or the other. Please, it’s not one or the other.

Learn the process of science. You don’t have to become a scientist full-time or an engineer full-time. And for those of you who love science and engineering I hope you pursue some art and learn some art and how to create art yourself and appreciate it. It’s what makes us people. Go for it.
Video Rating: / 5

There must be science and math protocols.

David Pogue: It’s a bigger problem than I know what to say. Obviously it’s a priority issue. I don’t know how you translate that. Is it something on the parenting level? Is it something to do with funding? Is it set from the very top? Is it a Presidential thing? I don’t really know.
There’s a lot of smart people working on the problem, but all I know is that the problem exists and it distresses me personally.
I do not come across a lot of tech-savvy women. Year after year after year, it’s the same thing. The PR people are women, and if I have a question they’ll pass me along to the male engineers who can answer the question. I don’t know if there’s a built-in bias in the system, or if there might just be an inclination. I know this will generate tons of letters but, you know, it may be that fewer women are interested. I don’t know.
At one point, I wrote in a column [for the New York Times] the fact that older people generally have a harder time adapting to new technologies than younger people, which I think was as safe a generalization as one could possibly make. But of course I heard from all these old people, like, “How dare you? You know, I can use a Blackberry with the best of ’em.” But it’s a generalization. It doesn’t mean that every single person is in that category. Yes, I know that.
But I know as a 45-year-old it’s harder for me to pick up new things than when I was 20. Again, I’ve been a computer tutor my entire life and I can see it in the ages of people that I teach. So I still believe that’s true. So politically uncorrect [sic] as it may be, it may be true that there are differences between older people and younger people, and between men and women.
Recorded on: May 15, 2008.

David Pogue: It’s a bigger problem than I know what to say. Obviously it’s a priority issue. I don’t know how you translate that. Is it something on the parenting level? Is it something to do with funding? Is it set from the very top? Is it a Presidential thing? I don’t really know.
There’s a lot of smart people working on the problem, but all I know is that the problem exists and it distresses me personally.
I do not come across a lot of tech-savvy women. Year after year after year, it’s the same thing. The PR people are women, and if I have a question they’ll pass me along to the male engineers who can answer the question. I don’t know if there’s a built-in bias in the system, or if there might just be an inclination. I know this will generate tons of letters but, you know, it may be that fewer women are interested. I don’t know.
At one point, I wrote in a column [for the New York Times] the fact that older people generally have a harder time adapting to new technologies than younger people, which I think was as safe a generalization as one could possibly make. But of course I heard from all these old people, like, “How dare you? You know, I can use a Blackberry with the best of ’em.” But it’s a generalization. It doesn’t mean that every single person is in that category. Yes, I know that.
But I know as a 45-year-old it’s harder for me to pick up new things than when I was 20. Again, I’ve been a computer tutor my entire life and I can see it in the ages of people that I teach. So I still believe that’s true. So politically uncorrect [sic] as it may be, it may be true that there are differences between older people and younger people, and between men and women.
Recorded on: May 15, 2008.
Video Rating: / 5

The Importance of the Arts

The Importance of the Arts

Art can change a child’s life.

Question: Do you recall a pivotal moment in your childhood?
Dana Gioia: I mean I had about 500 small epiphanies that brought me from one place to another.  I mean there are certain things that would have happened to change my life.  For example, I was in a very ugly, ugly place.  There was no open land.  There was nothing beautiful to look at in Hawthorne.  And I didn’t know it at the time, but I was starved for beauty.  And one night on TV there was a documentary on Michelangelo, and I just watched it with, you know, agog.  And the next day I went to this large, public library a few blocks from my house, took out an art book and, really for the next five or six years, I read every book in this large depository . . . library on art.  And this was when I was about 10 or 11, so obviously that’s something that, even though I’ve never been a painter or a visual arts critic, it was one of the things that brought me into the arts.  One of the things that opened up the idea of history, the idea of aesthetics to me.  You know, in the same way that these little glimpses that one got planted seeds that really paid off years and years later.  That’s one of the reasons I think, as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, I consider arts education so important.  Even if it’s just exposing kids to a single things once.  Because for somebody in the audience, it will change their life for the better.
Recorded On: 7/6/07

Question: Do you recall a pivotal moment in your childhood?
Dana Gioia: I mean I had about 500 small epiphanies that brought me from one place to another.  I mean there are certain things that would have happened to change my life.  For example, I was in a very ugly, ugly place.  There was no open land.  There was nothing beautiful to look at in Hawthorne.  And I didn’t know it at the time, but I was starved for beauty.  And one night on TV there was a documentary on Michelangelo, and I just watched it with, you know, agog.  And the next day I went to this large, public library a few blocks from my house, took out an art book and, really for the next five or six years, I read every book in this large depository . . . library on art.  And this was when I was about 10 or 11, so obviously that’s something that, even though I’ve never been a painter or a visual arts critic, it was one of the things that brought me into the arts.  One of the things that opened up the idea of history, the idea of aesthetics to me.  You know, in the same way that these little glimpses that one got planted seeds that really paid off years and years later.  That’s one of the reasons I think, as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, I consider arts education so important.  Even if it’s just exposing kids to a single things once.  Because for somebody in the audience, it will change their life for the better.
Recorded On: 7/6/07

Much to the chagrin of NASA rocket scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun, President Nixon chose instead to greenlight the space shuttle program because it intrigued the military-industrial complex. Stephen Petranek’s new book is “How We’ll Live on Mars” (http://goo.gl/YcJeUb).

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Transcript – When the Apollo program was coming to an end von Braun was running through the halls of Congress trying to convince congressmen that the next project after the Apollo program should be sending humans to Mars. Unlike many other proposals he had made in the past that proposal actually ended up on the desk of President Richard M. Nixon. Now a lot of people don’t understand this but the President is not only the commander in chief, he’s the commander in chief of NASA. NASA is actually an administrative function in our government and it reports directly to the President of the United States. So in the early 70s Nixon had two proposals sitting on his desk. One was let’s send somebody to Mars. The competing proposal was the Space Shuttle. Now the Space Shuttle originally was a very cool concept. It is exactly what Elon Musk is trying to do with rockets right now by making them reusable. And it was a relatively small space plane that could shuttle astronauts into Earth orbit and then where you would have the capability of building a larger rocket that could go on to places like Mars. Unfortunately the military and the intelligence agencies of the United States became very interested in the Space Shuttle and a conflict developed. Nixon chose the Space Shuttle over going to Mars, over von Braun’s program. And shortly thereafter von Braun resigned from NASA. And not long after that he died. Had Nixon chosen in the early 70s to go to Mars instead of building the Space Shuttle we would have a colony on Mars now. And there would probably be thousands of people there.

The tragedy of the Space Shuttle was that it was really kind of designed for the military industrial complex rather than what NASA really had in mind originally which was a cheap small reusable rocket. The joke is that there were 11 secret missions that we know of between 1982 and 1992 in which used the Space Shuttle for military and intelligence purposes. We have no real idea what those were. They were classified but we do know that they existed and that those rockets were launched and used for that purpose. Here is a that from day one was supposed to be completely open and transparent because we did not want other countries thinking that we looked like explorers of space and we looked like people who were only interested in intellectual curiosity and finding out more about our environment when in fact at the same time we were doing military things. So for the last five decades, from 1970 at least the space program has been stunted and has gone absolutely nowhere. And that’s why we have people like SpaceX who are going to bet the first to land on Mars because they’ve created this huge hole of low cost entry into space. And governments are now losing control of space that they’ve had as a monopoly. And private companies are finding it quite easy to do things faster, better and cheaper than NASA or the military can do them. And they’re going to get into long term space first.

Hey Bill Nye, ‘Do I Have to Choose Between a Science and Arts Education?’ #TuesdaysWithBill

Hey Bill Nye, ‘Do I Have to Choose Between a Science and Arts Education?’ #TuesdaysWithBill

Bill Nye the Science Guy explains how reinvigorating basic research and development in our schools resulted in the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and why new acronyms are emerging.

Do you want to ask Bill a question for a future “Tuesdays with Bill?” Click here to learn how to submit: (http://goo.gl/Joiqzo).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-on-stem-education-and-art

Follow Big Think here:
YouTube: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigthink

Transcript – Sam Passer: Hi Bill Nye this is Sam Passer. And my question for you is, as an art student myself, do I have to choose between art and science for our next generations to thrive or can art and science coexist? Please let me know. Thanks.

Bill Nye: Sam! Sam! Sam! Art and science have to coexist. They’re both human endeavors. However, just keep in mind I am a science guy and like this that science, this process that humans have developed seems to be, to my way of thinking, the best idea we’ve had, the best idea we’ve had about how to know nature, how to know our place in the world, in the cosmos. But without art we would hardly be people. Art is created by people and it inspires each of us. It’s the way we send messages. It’s the way we motivate each other or keep each other from doing something. Art is part of us. We don’t want art or science, we want to both. With that said, a little commentary about our current controversy in education in the United States, everybody goes on and on with this acronym STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. And this is a fine acronym. It talks about or it was created to address what was a clear need here in the United States after people landed on the moon, investment in basic research was curtailed, except in the military spending. And so we stopped, the United States stopped doing as much basic research as it had been doing and so to reinvigorate this people created this acronym and there’s all these science, technology, engineering and math programs in school. It’s good. It’s good. Now people talk about STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math. Well good. Yes. And I’ve heard STEAMD: science, technology, engineering, art, math and design. Okay. Pretty soon the acronym is going to have all the letters that we would call the school, just school. You go to school and you’ve got to have math; you’ve got to have language arts, English in my case and the United States were English is the primary language; you’ve got to have a history; you got to have a – I’d like us to have civics about the U.S. Constitution and the behavior and the way the government is created; and we’ve got to have art; you got to have science. Yes. We’ve got to have all of that. But this tacking stuff on this acronym that became so popular, STEM, is okay, everybody but let’s not forget we got to do everything. It’s not one or the other. Please, it’s not one or the other.

Learn the process of science. You don’t have to become a scientist full-time or an engineer full-time. And for those of you who love science and engineering I hope you pursue some art and learn some art and how to create art yourself and appreciate it. It’s what makes us people. Go for it.

Daniel Koretz says, though it’s difficult to compare testing in developed countries, most indicators show the US lagging behind.

Daniel Koretz:
Bad news sells.  And, in fact, I recently heard someone basically say that the only way to get attention to education is through bad news.  And that may be part of the problem.  We do score… Our kids do score less well than some kids in other countries and that’s not new.  So there’s a fairly, there’s a long standing and fairly stable difference in performance in mathematics between our kids and the kids in all of developed East Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea which wasn’t developed until [two years ago].  That’s fairly stable.  What you get when you compare us to countries that are more similar to us, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, maybe even Germany is little less clear because the results are not consistent from one test to another.  One test puts us pretty much in the same league as countries like Australia and Canada.  Another test, the PISA test run by the OECD in Paris suggests that our kids are behind in mathematics.  I think it’s… We don’t know because the tests aren’t designed to allow us to sort this out very well, but it appears that it’s because the test measure different things.  The test that measure what’s taught in school put us higher up relative to those countries.  The one that measures application to more realistic problems shows us falling a little further behind.

Daniel Koretz:
Bad news sells.  And, in fact, I recently heard someone basically say that the only way to get attention to education is through bad news.  And that may be part of the problem.  We do score… Our kids do score less well than some kids in other countries and that’s not new.  So there’s a fairly, there’s a long standing and fairly stable difference in performance in mathematics between our kids and the kids in all of developed East Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea which wasn’t developed until [two years ago].  That’s fairly stable.  What you get when you compare us to countries that are more similar to us, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, maybe even Germany is little less clear because the results are not consistent from one test to another.  One test puts us pretty much in the same league as countries like Australia and Canada.  Another test, the PISA test run by the OECD in Paris suggests that our kids are behind in mathematics.  I think it’s… We don’t know because the tests aren’t designed to allow us to sort this out very well, but it appears that it’s because the test measure different things.  The test that measure what’s taught in school put us higher up relative to those countries.  The one that measures application to more realistic problems shows us falling a little further behind.
Video Rating: / 5