Posted: Meade County Times-Tribune, June 22, 2016.
School is out, but some teachers are still in the classroom teaching.
DeVee Dietz, an instructor at Sturgis Williams Middle School, along with Marie Steckelberg, an education consultant, have been busy teaching about the wonders of art and science in their summer program called ARTsome Astronomy.
On June 13 and 14, Dietz and Steckelberg taught their course at the Sturgis Williams Middle School Art Room. ARTsome Astronomy has also been held at the schools in Yankton also.
The goal of the program is to teach educators how to engage students in hands-on learning activities that merge science and art. The participants in ARTsome Astronomy create pieces of art based on physical features in space, including planets, moons and galaxies.
Kim Smith, a Black Hills local who participated in ARTsome Astronomy, said, “I like this program a lot. I’ve learned lot about NASA and outer space and craters.”
Dietz spoke of the art course, her enjoyment of teaching, and the importance of art as part of the Five Questions Series with the Meade County Times.
MCTT: Why do you like art?
Dietz: “I love that art can be tied with everything. I love that it is a matter of expression. Art is really a process, not the product. That’s why I love seeing even students and adults who aren’t as artistically inclined doing art, because it lets them feel this emotion, this sense of accomplishment with what they completed.”
MCTT: What do you enjoy about teaching?
D: “Teaching in general is about touching lives and making a difference in the lives of your students. We work to touch our students. I love providing opportunities to our students. I work to provide them just enough base knowledge so they can fully explore what interests them and to learn.”
MCTT: How did you get into teaching?
D: “My grandmother and mother were both teachers, and originally I didn’t want to be a teacher, I wanted to be an engineer. My dad was an engineer, but when I got into college, I changed my mind. I had to take a humanities class while at SDSU, so I took an art class, and I fell in love with it. I just love the exploration of different media and helping others.”
MCTT: Why did you host these ARTsome Astronomy classes?
D: “Marie Steckelberg has been a long time educator and Steckelberg Consulting helped us to put this on. We’ve been friends over 30 years. She brings the science and I am the artsy one. I see a crossroads between art and science, and there are lots of similarities, especially in the ways of thinking. We wanted to create a workshop for people to grow scientifically and artistically. It is hosted by the Meade School District and we appreciate being able to use their facilities.”
MCTT: What does the future hold for you and for this art program?
D: “We definitely hope to do more. We want to help teach more participants. We started the ARTsome Astronomy program last year. This year we had an ARTsome Astronomy level one and a level two course. We started doing more about galaxies and gaseous planets long with more 3D art and use of light. We are thinking of doing a whole ABC series, like astronomy, biology, and chemistry. I think it is good that we are providing STEM education and providing something for the artist and the scientist. We hope to help more people create experiences with art and science.”