PNC Circle of Excellence Conference

What are the most important skills you bring to your job? Creativity? Critical Thinking? Communication? Collaboration?

On June 9, Christina Farrell was a featured presenter at the PNC Circle of Excellence Conference in Tampa, FL where she described how Opera Ignite helps preschoolers develop these critical 21st century skills through Arts-integrated STEAM programs supported by PNC Grow Up Great.

There has been a great deal of talk about STEM education in the news lately. But what does that mean for very young children? Christina described what quality education looks like in the preschool classroom – particularly when integrated with the Arts to create STEAM!

  • Science – Why do things happen?
  • Technology – What tools can we use?
  • Engineering – How do we solve a problem?
  • Math – How do we describe things?
  • + Arts – How can we use creativity to innovate and communicate?

During the presentation, Christina outlined an arts-integrated engineering classroom residency that took place in Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2014.  She inspired nearly 500 PNC bank employees to sing, dance and act out problem-solving scenarios based on the picture book Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. They learned the Six Steps of Engineering through song and were asked to demonstrate basic concepts (such as over, under, around and through) in a multitude of ways.

Through the process, the participants discovered how this playful experience boosted their own abilities to communication, collaborate, solve problems and innovate… all important skills in their own workplace. The creativity and joy in the room was contagious!

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