Brittany Collins | June 3, 2014 | Notre Dame News
More than 300 fifth-graders from South Bend area schools spent a day at the University of Notre Dame playing music and learning about the science of sound, the result of a year-long collaboration called ndWAVES.
The students from Dickinson Fine Arts Academy, St. Adalbert’s and Brown Intermediate Center came to Notre Dame on a sunny day in May to learn from Notre Dame students and Third Coast Percussion, the University’s ensemble-in-residence. Using percussion instruments that the Notre Dame students designed and built, the students received hands-on lessons on music, sound, engineering and design.
The idea for ndWAVES started when Notre Dame professor Jay Brockman was asked to consult by the South Bend Community School Corp. on programs for STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. “The notion of separating STEM from the arts felt like there was something really missing,” said Brockman. “We have these ideas of analysis and experimentation, which we tend to call science, and these ideas of creativity and synthesis, which we tend to call art. But really, both disciplines use those, and we can draw on examples of both to help feed each other.” Brockman and the SBCSC settled on STEAM instead, adding the A for arts.