Arts Experience and STEM Innovation

  • October 28, 2013
  • By a2ru      
Authored by an interdisciplinary research team, this article argues that the arts are integral to STEM innovation and patents.


 

Governments, schools, and other nonprofit organizations are engaged in critical budget decisions that may affect our economic development success. The assumption is that arts and crafts are dispensable extras. Research suggests, however, that disposing of arts and crafts may have negative consequences for the country’s ability to produce innovative scientists and engineers who invent patentable products and found new companies. A study of Michigan State University Honors College science and technology graduates (1990-1995) yielded four striking results: (a) graduates majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects are far more likely to have extensive arts and crafts skills than the average American; (b) arts and crafts experiences are significantly correlated with producing patentable inventions and founding new companies; (c) the majority believe that their innovative ability is stimulated by their arts and crafts knowledge; and (d) lifelong participation and exposure in the arts and crafts yields the most significant impacts for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Link to Full Source: Economic Development Quarterly