STEAM Actually comming to FRC, and im not happy

Logging onto facebook today i found a post by FIRST Robotics Canada about a new award Called “STEAM Horizon Award” you can check it out on the page here:

There has been alot of talk over whether adding Arts to the fold would be good and i just don’t see how it could be. Let me start off by saying that Art is necessary in the world and has alot of impact on culture but it is also the most subjective field there is. I can take a photo that i think is great and others think is bad and there is no truth, both of us are right and wrong. I believe there should be no place for this type of subjectivity in the almost entirely objective fields of Science Technology Engineering and Math. Design is probably the only aspect of the Arts that could be useful and i think its already covered under the label of Engineering

The importance of art does not lie in any association with STEM, and arts are important for their own reasons unrelated to the the importance of STEM. STEM was created because of a shortage of people in these fields especially important for women, as there are still severe shortages in the number of women who pursue them. Arts suffer no shortage of women. The move to add Arts was probably to incise more women to join STEM but what it also does is make it so they can exit the programs not going into a STEM field but to an arts field where we don’t need more women. If the idea is to bring more arts people into STEM then we should focus on making those fields more attractive to the Arts but keeping the exit from the program still a STEM field.

Robotics has been my passion for the last 4 years and i will stick with it no matter where it goes and i believe that we as a community can shape the environment to better it.

So i ask you, since this seems to be happening no matter what now, how do we incorporate such a subjective field into the FRC enviroment?

And what are your thoughts on this shift in direction?

In all seriousness, please do a simple search for ‘STEAM’.

This is probably the 5th thread this summer on the subject.

Been there, done that:

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Art has personally attacked my family and my way of life. It should not be tolerated in STEM.

For real though, “Art” has a certain beauty to it BECAUSE it can be subjective. This allows it to be conceptual and can mean something different for everyone. Art is all around us, especially in engineering.

Modern art can mean many different things. Industrial Design is a great example of this; you blend art, design, engineering, and even social benefit into creating something.

I implore you to think about this a little differently.
Check this out for example:

Additionally, VEX uses Art as a division, and I’m pretty sure they know what they’re doing. Da Vinci was an artist and engineer too.

There are many blurred lines here, I suggest you think about them and explore them deeply.

Art made some pretty cool stuff…

I realize that there have been post on this subject but now there is actual evidence of it happening

is there really?
looks like it’s a 3rd party prize that CAFIRST is promoting. Much Ado About Nothing.

STEAM is your friend.

As a fan of photography, I’ll use that as an example. The average person would probably consider photography to be a form of art, but took a look at the inside of any DSLR (or any camera) and just think about the engineering that went into this creative expression. It’s pretty remarkable if you understand how cameras work! There are so many technologies that have used art as their motivation for creation and innovation :slight_smile: Think outside the box!

Well, there is evidence of FRC Canada publicizing a STEAM award. It isn’t their award though, and it isn’t associated with FRC in anyway which you insinuate in your OP.

Oh, this was serious… I thought this was gonna turn into a gif thread cuz that’d be art.

Ok, fine…

how do we incorporate such a subjective field into the FRC enviroment?

I know folks like to say “oh engineering and science has RIGHT answers” and all that. You’d like to think you could look at two solutions and objectively say which one is better. I hate to break it to you but that’s not real. Heck, that’s not even real in the microcosm that is FRC.

All fields are subjective. Yes traditional art has a little more wiggle room but it’s not like we don’t have teams who have demonstrated that their robot cannot in fact handle a game piece and then claim they shoot 14 high goals a match with 100% accuracy.

But, you want a real example? I’m a judge, I see team A that is really well controlled, great robot. Then I see team B that is, maybe not as effective on the field but is using new sensors. Who gets the Innovation in Control award? I know who I would give it to but I also know there were folks who would disagree. And that’s an engineering award. I’ve had team attribute award discussions that I was pretty sure were going to end in furniture being thrown. [1]

Look, you can be unhappy all you want but this isn’t even a shift in direction. If you REALLY think STEM/FIRST is all subjective decisions you’re wrong.[2] Finally admitting that teams need the Arts (writing, public speaking, graphic design) to succeed is going to do wonders to transform the culture and build more successful, sustainable teams.

[1] There’s a reason I refer to deliberation as chair throwing time, this is why. Rarely does furniture ACTUALLY get thrown. Jess hasn’t even thrown a clipboard at anyone to my knowledge.

[2] And before the regular slurry of messages about how I’m being too harsh, consider that I initially instead wanted to use the words delusional or ignorant.

But is it Art?

A large majority of prizes are by 3rd party groups and the promotion of STEAM is a shift in marketing that has to be attributed to some decision made, and im guessing its the slow introduction of STEAM

Does that make me an Artist?:rolleyes:

Anyways. Let’s toss up a hypothetical situation.

Let’s say I am a member of an Artist’s Forum. On this forum, a thread gets created entitled ‘STEAM Award Com(m)ing to local Art Fair’. Let’s also assume that a member of the community begins an outrage that Art is superior to everything related to STEM and that the two are completely unrelated and should never be used in the same sentence, acronym, or anything.

I dunno 'bout you, but that would rustle my jimmies a bit.

One of my good friends, a fellow 125 mentor, is an Art Teacher at a local elementary school. This Art Teacher just recently received a grant to get a 3D printer in her art classroom to help expose her students to using Technology to create Art. This teacher, who majored in Art in college, also now mentors elementary robotics teams across the Boston Area, bringing her creative and artistic mind to use when helping her students.

I won’t speak for her, but I can only assume that if she read the sentiment about Art not having a place in FRC, it would come across offensive.

There is a place for Art in robotics, especially in FIRST. Art is used in digital media, Design of robots, and I know all of us have referred to a robot or two as a “Piece of Art”. Various awards available to teams scream Art to me. Even technical awards, where a preferred mechanism is ‘Elegant’, means to me that some sort of creative artistic process must have happened to make the mechanism even just look good.

Could you explain your apprehension? As I read it, the award is designed to provide scholarship money for student leaders / innovators. The “art” portion opens the opportunity to a broader group.

I would say all the FIRST CA students have gained an opportunity. Win-win. Where is the loss?

Snip from the website…
*Are you often described as a leader, an achiever, or an innovator? Do you have limitless drive, ambition, and determination? If so, there’s an opportunity to receive a $25,000 prize towards your post-secondary education.

The STEAM Horizon Awards, a newly funded prize program, invites Canada’s youth to promote positive changes throughout their community using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

Up to seven students will each be awarded a $25,000 prize for their post-secondary education. Two of the seven prizes will go to Indigenous youth. The prizes will be funded by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Foundation, alongside eight Founding Partners. We are confident that these recipients will act as role models and ambassadors for future STEAM generations. *

Have you ever looked at a robot or a mechanism and thought “wow, that’s beautiful”? You might have 30 other teams at the event that accomplish the task the same way, but none of them will look as good. That’s art, expressed through engineering. As we see every year, any team that tries can field a robot that plays the game. But some teams have a certain elegance in their design that makes you stop and look, while others are kludges that, while functional, aren’t pretty.

At work, I implement solutions to problems every day. Sometimes, when I review those solutions before delivering them, I think “wow, that’s ugly”. Other times its “wow, that’s really nice”. The nice, elegant solutions I want to go crow about. The ugly ones I just hope no one else notices. Yet both of them solve the problem and become part of the product.

Art is integral to engineering, even if we don’t like to think so.

I am not saying that the award is bad im just commenting on the awards impact on the environment. any award that we can get is great and if there wasn’t so much talk about steam already i would think nothing of this award. but with STEAM being thought to be the new STEM im using it as evidence of the legitimacy of these claims.

I think they really need to add more terms to make it a more forward thinking acronym. Art is important, but Business is just as important, if not more, for sustaining a team. Another core tenant of FIRST is teaching students Responsibility as it applies to project management, and Inclusion of team mates to make a highly functional team.

The new acronym should really be RIBMEATS.

I love it.

Some artists call a few swipes of a paint brush art.

Some engineers call a barely-tested, half-wired, slow-moving amalgamation of metal and electricity a competitive robot.

Don’t kid yourself: it’s all subjective. They’re both application of and execution on the creative process, where “completed product” means different things to different people.

A solution to a task that solves it with beauty and elegance is not thanks to Art it is thanks to STEM and a robot that looks good while doing it is Art. it is true there is something to be said about a good looking bot but at the end of the day you dont get to finals for having a good looking bot, infact ive seen alot of ugly bots get to finals and win so what do u value more, a robot that can accomplish a task well or one that looks better but performs worse. do you think that on the ISS that would install an arm that performed worse just because it looks better. the point being that Art compliments STEM but has no OBJECTIVE purpose