Arts turn STEM into STEAM Week at MTSU

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Led by Matthew Pyles, a teacher at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, students attending STEAM Week at MTSU listen closely to pick up sounds Thursday (July 21) in the Fairview Building. (MTSU photo by Cami Cunro)

Take STEM ... science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Add the arts and it turns STEM into STEAM.

More than 30 Murfreesboro and Rutherford Country youngsters in grades K-7 are experienced STEAM Week at MTSU this past week.

Sponsored by the Tennessee STEM Education Center, STEAM Week is an art- and dance-focused camp combined with STEM, with the added discipline of visual arts. Students are being exposed to different art forms including mural design, ceramics, clay, oil paints and more.

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For Annie Frierson, 10, a rising sixth-grader at Mitchell-Neilson Elementary School, it not only "was really fun," but "I learned a lot about art and learned about coding. We played with robots in the technology lab."

Frierson has attended Camp STEM at MTSU, but this was her first time to be a part of STEAM Week.

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Activities included:

• Building "doodling robots" (robots drawing for the children).

• A visit from artist Jonathan Garner, who brought the science of explosion.

• Exploring the science of music with Hobgood Elementary teacher Corynn Moore and Matthew Pyles from Harpeth Hall School in Nashville.

• The science of dance led by instructor Heather Brown, an educational assistant at Mitchell-Neilson.

• A visit by Murfreesboro City Police Department's SWAT team robot.

The group visited the MTSU Engineering Technology laboratories and learned about solar boats, lunar rovers and more.

Part of July 19's activities were filmed by Nashville's WNPT for airing at a later date.

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