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  • Sandra Corbeil

You Can Call US STAN

Science and technology (S&T) has a reputation, one that we need to “fix”. Like most reputations, S&T’s reputation is partially based on truth and partially based on perception. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a fan of S&T and you know the truth –there is a lot of creativity in science and technology. For some, the perception is that creativity isn’t associated with science or technology. It should it be. Consider the imagination used to help design experiments. Consider the root of invention and ingenuity. Discovery and innovation don’t arise from thinking like everyone else; they are not achieved by seeing the world as it has always been seen. Discovery and innovation come from a new thought, a new perspective, and new understanding. Curiosity can drive us to understand how things work, and how this can help us work smarter, be healthier, go faster or use valuable resources more economically.

Actua’s Maker Mobile workshops are a great example: in these workshops, participants are invited to design, build and program with sophisticated maker tools including 3D printers, laser cutters, micro-controllers while they solve real-world challenges.

Many STAN member organisations are not only offering experiences but supporting STEAM careers. The STEM Spotlight awards look for the next generation of problem-solvers to drive BC economy into the 21st century. It’s open for post-secondary individuals interested in pursuing a career in one of the STEM sectors. The new STEAM Horizons Awards are in search of young leaders and innovators who have demonstrated achievements such as “a science fair win, a published app, a patented invention” or “creating a local interactive art installation”.

So the trend to take S&T, which is really Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), and insert “A” for Art is to recognize what S&T, what STEM, have always had at their core —creativity. It’s really always been STEAM. You can expect your STAN newsletter, and your STAN membership to continue to focus on STEAM in the future. We know what you know: art and creativity are already a part of the science and technology landscape and together we’re going to seek opportunity to engage with audiences to give them STEAM experiences and help with that perception along the way.

That made me wonder, should STAN change its name, adding in the E and the M and the A. STEAMAN? NEMAST? TEAM-SN? But I realized something –this network is more than a name. We’ll embrace that extra letter but for now you can call us STAN.

— Sandra Corbeil STAN Board Member, Chair of the Strategic Communications Committee

Explore some STEAM projects by STAN members and share with your networks!

(submissions due Dec 2, 2016!)

(submissions due January 9, 2017!)

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