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Girls in STEAM Event: Engineering a Poem

By Victoria King

The evolution from STEM to STEAM has improved our youth’s hard and soft skills. The “A” in STEAM has allowed for the abundance of creativity when problem solving and the expansion of one’s horizon to new ideas when creating and innovating. To incorporate more art in STEAM education, JuSTEMagine hosted a Girls in STEAM event to correlate poetry and STEAM.

The similarities between writing a poem and using the engineering design process were discussed; both processes involve defining a problem, collecting information, brainstorming and analyzing, developing solutions, getting feedback, and improving one’s design. This transferable process of asking, imagining, planning, creating, and improving proves important in both scientific and artistic fields. From an analytical perspective, the structure of prose in a stanza involves artists “building” art with words. Whether that is building limericks, shape poems, rhymes, or free verse, a fundamental process of questioning a particular concept is used in creation. This is similar to engineers questioning how to make a robot to better traverse a field or how to make energy more sustainable in an environmentally depleting world. During the event, participants learned how to use their curiosity when undertaking challenges, such as writing meaningful poetry or using scientific principles to design and build infrastructures.

The guest speaker for the event was Andrea Chakma, a mechatronics engineering major at Waterloo University. Her interest in reading and engineering helped guide the STEAM event. She presented captivating slideshows on “Engineering a Poem” as she gave her presentation. At the end, she spoke about college and how how to tell which one is the best fit for each student.

For more information on how to incorporate more art into your STEAM journey, follow @JuSTEMagine on Instagram!

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