First-ever STE[+a]M™ Connect Conference Adds Arts to STEM

LA JOLLA, Calif., March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the goal of applying a more well-rounded, integrated approach to K-16 education, the concept of STE[+a]M™ seeks to meld left-brain convergent thinking with right-brain divergent thinking.

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The inaugural STE[+a]M Connect Conference, dedicated to adding the arts (small "a") to the widely-accepted STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, will be presented Friday, March 28, 9 am to 5:30 pm, at Qualcomm in San Diego.

The conference is expected to attract more than 750 professionals from around the country who have embraced the innovative STE[+a]M™ concept. Participants include pre-K-16 educators, administrators, arts and STEM nonprofit leaders, scientific research experts, business leaders and regional policymakers.

"This marks a significant milestone for our model of an integrated academic curriculum," said Ed Abeyta, director of K-16 programs at UC San Diego Extension. "With STE[+a]M™, our emphasis is on the educational ideal of the whole-minded student, one who's equipped with the skills and imagination to meet new workplace challenges."

STE[+a]M™ was created in 2012 as a collaborative effort between UC San Diego Extension and KPR PR, a San Diego-based public relations firm headed by Kim Richards. As such, it became the first integrated STE[+a]M™ network based in Southern California. UC San Diego Extension holds the patent.

Last year, the program was introduced at nearly 50 middle-schools and high schools in San Diego County. More schools are expected to be added for the 2014-15 academic calendar.

"Brains come with two sides for a reason," added Abeyta. "They need each other. One reasons, the other feels. And what happens when they work together is magical."

SOURCE University of California San Diego Extension

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