STEAM Faculty Development Opportunity!

STEAM Faculty Development Series — Join us for Part II of a two-part series.  Please join us if you attended Part I or if you didn’t!

November 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., CM 315, Annandale Campus
Register by clicking here!

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November 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., CM 315, Annandale Campus
Register by clicking here!

The STEAM Faculty Learning Community from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) is exploring teaching at the intersection of the STEM disciplines and the art disciplines.

On Saturday, November 1, eleven faculty members representing Loudoun, Woodbridge, Manassas, Annandale, and Alexandra campuses met on the Annandale campus to explore “Art for Science or Science for Art?” . Participants were treated to a fascinating kenote session by Annandale Biology professor Ilya Temkin. Professor Temkin posed questions like “can art be used to illustrate science” or “should art only be considered art if it pushes the boundaries of understanding”? He offered fascinating examples from the rich past of biological illustration from The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and France. Dr. Gillian Backus, Biology professor from Loudoun, shared a number of STEM- to-STEAM websites highlighting similar initiatives at other universities around the country. The workshop concluded with a summary of the success of a pilot course offered here at NOVA called “The Creative Mind: The Intersection of Art and Science” that occurred during the second eight-week session of Fall 2013. Dr. Paul Fitzgerald, Biology professor and Honors Chair at Annandale campus, showed how the course was structured, and showed examples of art generated by enrolled Honors students. The participants enthusiastically endorsed the STEM to STEAM initiative here at NOVA. Join us for the next session:

November 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., CM 315, Annandale Campus.
“Your Creative Mind”
This second opportunity, led by a prestigious artist and retired NOVA faculty member Rebecca Kamen, encourages participants to explore their own creative minds. Through art and play, participants will brainstorm a science concept that they will teach through a creative medium. The creativity of art will deepen the understanding of a science concept and improve critical thinking skills.

And there’s more.
You may also want to mentor students who will enroll in an Honors Special Projects 299 course, a 16-week, two-credit course in which students work with two volunteer faculty members in disciplines of their choice. This is an amazing opportunity to broaden your teaching practice while learning an amazing amount about STEAM and interdisciplinary pedagogy.

For questions, please contact Gillian Backus at  To register go to


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