TREND Spring 2017 - Page 27

Over the past six years I have had the privilege to serve the students and teachers of Mt. Pleasant schools through a joint position with Maury County Public Schools and the Kids on Stage Foundation of Maury County. This position has provided Fine Arts leadership to the school system but it has also given me the ability to connect directly with Smelter Service Corporation of Mt. Pleasant, TN. Smelter specializes in aluminum recycling and they are committed to making a difference in their community. Through my work with their Cultural Development team, I visit their facilities frequently and have seen firsthand the commitment this corporation has to hiring not just well- trained employees but employees that can be innovative problem solvers. Smelter is a leader in their industry but they are not alone in their desire to hire employees that can create solutions. They have however discovered the very reason STEM needs an “A”. It is the need to hire creative people with analytical skills that can also problem solve. All of these needs are enhanced through participation in arts activities. When STEM includes the “A”, students naturally use divergent thinking to generate ideas to solve not only the problem presented but most of the time several others along the way. By breaking a problem down into core components, students are able to take abstract thoughts and make concrete connections. Join me at Leader U this summer to learn more about Full STEAM Ahead. Cindy Pride Kids on Stage Director Maury County Public Schools