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The Arts and STEM

The great divide between the arts and the sciences, what the late scientist and writer, C. P. Snow, called “the two cultures” is of modern vintage—it didn’t always used to be so. There was a time when it was recognized that art, as much as science, is directed at understanding ourselves and the world in which we live. Is Picasso’s “Guernica” , his famous and powerful painting executed in revulsion at the horrors of the Spanish Civil war any less a statement of anti-war sentiment than Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”? Is painting any less a vehicle for communicating ideas and influencing beliefs than literature? Is a biological account of an individual any less valuable or useful than a psychological one? Mathematics and science, no less than music and art, are attempts to make sense of the world, and to respond to it. There are those who appreciate and understand the mathematics in music, as there are those who see beauty in the simplicity of a mathematical proof, or rhythm and pattern in the periodic table of elements. There is art in science and science in art.
At Village Glen we resist the notion that there is an unbridgeable divide between the arts and the sciences. We want our students to have the necessary skills, knowledge and technologies to understand the world, and respond to it, whether through the arts or the sciences. At a time when shrinking budgets have all but decimated support for the arts in schools, we offer a music elective in high school, one that encompasses performance and production. We offer three arts classes, one in painting, drawing and sculpture, one in digital design and 3D printing, and one in cartoon animation. Then there are clubs in drama and dance. We not only recognize that there is no limit to the depth or range of human aspiration, creativity and expression, we embrace it! We want our students to have whatever skills at their disposal that will allow them to express their thoughts and realize their dreams. We wouldn’t want anything less for ourselves. Nor should we want anything less for them.

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