HCC Professor uses art to teach computer science
Tampa, fl, October 17, 2016: Recent developments in higher education have highlighted the importance of art in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.) (Stoneburner, 2016) As a result a Hillsborough Community College (HCC) professor, in an innovative approach to education, uses art to teach computer science to visual learners.
Professor Bonk says sometimes innovative and quality education can be found in your own backyard. Students often attend a community college to reduce cost for their first two years of college and then transfer to a four-year college such as the University of South Florida (USF.) Part of the required courses for all majors at HCC include a computer science class called Introduction to Computers and Technology says Bonk. As a result, the classes often include creative students majoring in such subjects as Graphics Design, Computer Game Design, Fashion Design, and Advertising Design.
“These are visual students who learn best with visual learning tools” said Bonk. He went on to say “If they are taught the traditional way using rote memorization and lists they are immediately intimidated, finding an already difficult subject even more difficult.” However, if we reach them using creative techniques they are familiar with they are more receptive to learning” said Bonk. In addition, stated Bonk, many STEM skills overlap and are reinforced with skills in the arts, such as the following abilities identified by (Sousa, 2013):
- Abilities that draw on curiosity
- Make accurate observations
- Perceive objects in different forms
- Being able to express one’s observations in a meaningful way
- Work as a team
- Think spatially
- Perceive kinesthetically.
Professor Bonk has taught this class for almost ten years to thousands of HCC students. “Although the class has been well received I found that occasionally I would observe some of the more creative oriented students with a glazed look over their eyes during my lectures. I knew I had lost their attention. It then occurred to me that I could use my hobby of painting to entice them into the world of computers” said Bonk. He set about painting the first painting on the Internet and used it in a presentation in class. In addition, he had the images made into a fabric and had a shirt made that he planned to wear during the lecture. “I thought this would especially appeal to the textile oriented majors such as fashion design” said Bonk.
He went on to say “The results were outstanding! Not only did I garner the attention of the creative students but overall class participation increased dramatically.”
Future plans include paintings on computers, programming, and computer security that will be used in class to teach these subjects.
Professor Bonk’s works may be seen at:
Professor Bonk’s clothing is available for sale and may be seen and purchased at:
Works CitedSousa, D. &. (2013). From STEM to STEAM: Using brain-compatible strategies to integrate the arts.
Stoneburner, D. (2016). From STEM to STEAM: Using Brain-Compatible Strategies to Integrate the Arts. Roeper Review., 38(2), 129-130.
Pomeroy, S. R. (2012). From STEM to STEAM: Science and Art go hand in hand. [blog]. Scientific
American. Retrieved fromhttp://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/from-stem-to- steam-science-and-the-arts-go-hand-in-hand/
STEM to STEAM. (n.d.). What is STEAM? Retrieved from http://stemtosteam.org/
Tate, K.J. (2016). Arts-based teaching in elementary schools. [blog]. Ed News Daily. Retrieved from http://www.ednewsdaily.com/arts-based-teaching-in-elementary-schools-tate