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STEAM, not STEM 

Editor:

Humboldt State University is at the beginning of an exciting new path to establish a polytechnic university right here in Arcata. A very large sum of money is earmarked to make this transition.

In reading Barry Evans' article ("Cal Poly Humboldt?" Aug. 26) he describes his own educational path as being an either/or situation regarding science or arts. It doesn't sound like the most desirable kind of education.

Our university seems to be looking at a similar separation of "left" and "right" brain education for the next generation of students. I don't see why the establishment of Cal Poly Humboldt needs to follow this line of thinking.

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. To me this kind of education sounds very dry and dull, sort of like a saltine cracker without the salt. A newer, more complete approach to education is called STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, ARTS, and Math). Saltine with cheese and salsa!

STEAM and a polytechnic university complement each other. Mr. Evans says, "The polytechnic approach emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning ...." Precisely what arts education is all about! He further says, "... humanities and arts ... the counterpoint to STEM." I say, not so! STEAM education is complete education!

In my travels as a musician and music educator, I have met and made music with doctors, lawyers, computer engineers — even a NASA scientist!

HSU already has top-notch programs in music, theater, dance and art. They must be incorporated into any future for HSU and our next generation.

Fred Tempas, Arcata

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