Serving more than 800 youth annually throughout the NH Seacoast and southern Maine, New Heights has opened registration for its 2016-2017 school year programs.
Providing opportunities that incorporate everything from the creative arts to science, math, adventure, food and more, this year’s program represents a tangible transition from STEM education to STEAM. While STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, the ‘A’ in STEAM refers to art.
“There is a subtle shift in education that is taking place and we want to be on the forefront of it,” said New Heights Executive Director Tracey Tucker. “Whereas science and technology transformed our economy in the last century, there is evidence to suggest that art and design needs to be integrated in K through 20 education.”
becca Pawling, longtime arts and culture coordinator at New Heights, said the evolution of education in recent years is an exciting development.
“Obviously, I am biased, but I have felt that the arts have been marginalized in education for far too long, so it is very gratifying to see organizations and educational institutions begin to actively integrate art,” she said.
As a result of this transition to STEAM, New Heights has developed a wide variety of new workshops that tangibly incorporate art and/or creative thinking. Beautiful Biology and Sacred Geology are just two examples of STEAM programming. Other STEAM workshops include STEAM: The Science of Color and STEAM: Eco-Dye Chemistry.
According to New Heights Assistant Director Meghan Rice, the entire staff is excited to introduce to youth programs that will “enlighten, encourage and surprise them.”
“We have developed things that are going to be so much fun and yet serve a higher educational purpose at the same time,” she said. “It is very important that we continue to evolve as a resource for schools, parents and youth—and STEAM is where we are going.”
New Heights charges program fees, but offers need-based scholarships and the equipment necessary to participate. To register or learn more about New Heights’ school-year program, visit www.newheightsonline.org, or call (603) 422-8235.