Channeling Prince to Teach STEAM

It wasn’t something that I planned. When the students showed up for their independent study session in the STEAM Lab, the task was to solder or join the leads (legs) from sixteen LED lights to a device called a Trellis, which is an LED/keypad controller. Weeks earlier, the students, music majors at Boston Art Academy, told […]

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Digital Fabrication & ‘Making’: The Prince Memento

Every few decades or centuries, a new set of skills and intellectual activities become crucial for work, conviviality, and citizenship – often democratizing tasks and skills previously only accessible to experts. Digital fabrication and ‘making’ could be a new and major chapter in this process of bringing powerful ideas, literacies, and expressive tools to children. […]

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Collidescope 2.0 Part 2: Fractals & the Fabric of Life

The founder of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot, wrote, “For me, the most important instrument of thought is the eye. It sees similarities before a formula has been created to identify them.” Mimi Lien, set designer for Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America, has a refined eye for fractals, even if it’s not clear that […]

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Collidescope 2.0: Du Bois, Dunbar & Space

My long-time mentor Judyie Al-Bilali and her colleagues just closed Collidescope 2.0: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America at UMass Amherst. The show is the “culmination of the two-year Art, Legacy and Community project, which looks at local African-American history and uses theater as a powerful means to interrogate where we have come from and where we […]

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Prince & the Cut: Black Creative Expression

Repeating (repetition) has been referred to as the antithesis to dominate Eurocentric ideas of what culture should be: linear and progressive. – Julian Henriques “Burton in the United States says ‘[Prince] taught me that being black was more than a color. That despite our circumstances or limitations in life, you could change the world and […]

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Purple Nebula: How One Prince Song Saved Me

Nasa paid tribute to Prince by sending out a beautiful space image lit up in the singer’s characteristic purple. The picture is an image of the Crab Nebula, made up by combining images from Nasa’s own Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory. The Crab Nebula is about 6,500 light-years. Its structure is […]

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STEAM in Xi’ an: My First China Visit

Xi’ an Hi-Tech International School (XHIS) in Xi’ an, China is K-6 and serves over 3,000 students. The school hosted a STEAM International Symposium this week and I was one of the keynote speakers. On Sunday I addressed a room full of principals and teachers from different parts of the region who wanted to know more […]

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