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The Art of Science Learning introduces collaborative solutions to San Diego's water challenges at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Opening on January 29, 2016, in the Fleet’s main exhibit gallery.

January 14, 2016

San DiegoThe Art of Science Learning exhibition opens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on Friday, January 29, 2016. The exhibition invites visitors of all ages to explore the intersection of art, innovation, STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and math) and community, to experience how art and science can help us address the challenges of our world.

The exhibition stems out of an ambitious project. For three years, The Art of Science Learning group conducted a remarkable experiment to discover what happens when art is used as a catalyst to spark innovation in science, technology, engineering and math. Art of Science Learning Incubator teams were created to address a challenge specific to their community.

The San Diego Incubator's innovation challenge was water-a critical issue for the region. The Incubator team was composed of more than 100 Art of Science Learning Fellows, a group of scientists, educators, researchers, artists, engineers, museum professionals, business leaders, policymakers and early-career STEM professionals drawn from all over the bi-national San Diego region.

The Incubator was hosted by the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and worked in partnership with several of its member organizations, including the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art and San Diego Air & Space Museum. The Incubator team spent a year exploring various arts techniques as models to learn the innovation process and develop new solutions to our local water challenge. Examples of the arts techniques use include open-ended jazz improvisation to help Fellows learn observational strategies, surrealist visual and spoken word techniques to stimulate the flow of intuitive ideation and clay sculpture as a medium for modeling their ideas and assessing how they "stood up."

The exhibition is designed as a call to action, to seek solutions to tackle challenges, local and global. The reason for using the arts in the innovation process is its unique ability to bring people together to collaborate and create. Art opens up our imaginations, nurtures creativity and taps into multiple ways of sensing, feeling, thinking and learning.

Some of the innovations devised by the Art of Science Learning Incubator team include a prototype for a solar-powered device that extracts water from the air by manipulating the dew point, biologically-inspired outdoor structures that harvest atmospheric water, an artificial wetland system for transforming wastewater into water for irrigation and a solar-powered soil moisture sensor to help minimize watering.

Other Art of Science Learning Incubator teams were located in Chicago and Worcester, Massachusetts. For the Chicago team, urban nutrition was front and center. The incubator team was hosted by Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Worcester's Art of Science Learning Fellows tackled their community's urgent need for new transportation solutions to enhance its economic productivity and connect its neighborhoods.

The Art of Science Learning exhibition will be open from January 29 to May 3, 2016, in the main exhibit gallery space of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The exhibition is included with the cost of Fleet admission. 

Funding for the Art of Science Learning exhibition was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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To schedule a media preview of The Art of Science Learning, please contact Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or
Interviews can be scheduled with the Fleet's CEO, Dr. Steve Snyder, as well as Harvey Seifter, The Art of Science Learning's founder/director, project director and principal investigator; and other select representatives from the Art of Science Learning executive and Incubator team.
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Celebration of San Diego Science!
You and a guest are invited to a Celebration of San Diego Science! Join us for the premiere party of four new exhibitions at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, including the Art of Science Learning. The upcoming exhibitions showcase the science that San Diego innovators are using to create a better future.
Members of the media are invited to join us for the premiere party on Thursday, January 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring refreshing beverages, science fun, delicious bites and interactive science activities.
If you and a guest would like to attend the Celebration of San Diego Science party, please RSVP on the link below. Space is limited. RSVP by January 21, 2015.
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About the Art of Science Learning
The Art of Science Learning is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that uses the arts to spark creativity in science education and the development of an innovative 21st Century STEM workforce. The initiative is built on more than 15 years of work by Harvey Seifter and colleagues, exploring the impact of artistic skills, processes and experiences on learning and the innovation process. During the past four years, The Art of Science Learning has developed a new curriculum that uses the arts to teach innovation processes to adolescent and adult learners; implemented the curriculum in three year-long arts-based Incubators for STEM Innovation; and conducted ground-breaking experimental research demonstrating that the arts enhance STEM learning and lead to improved creativity skills and innovation outcomes in adolescents, and increased collaborative and emotionally intelligent behavior in adults. For information, please visit our website at
About Harvey Seifter
One of the world's leading authorities on organizational creativity and arts-based learning, Harvey Seifter is the founder and director of The Art of Science Learning and Principal Investigator of its two NSF grants. Through his New York-based consulting firm, he designs and leads innovation and leadership programs at General Electric's Crotonville Global Leadership Development Center, and implements arts-based collaboration and culture change initiatives at corporations, universities and non-profits worldwide. Harvey is also a classically trained musician with a 20-year career at the helm of distinguished arts organizations, including Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Magic Theatre of San Francisco. During his tenure, these organizations garnered five Grammys and the Kennedy Center Award. In 2001, Harvey wrote Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World's Only Conductorless Orchestra (Holt/Times Books). He was a participant in the White House Global Cultural Initiative and has been a panelist for both the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A Fellow of the Royal Society for Art, Harvey currently serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Design, Arts and Cultural Management at Pratt Institute's Graduate School of the Arts in New York City. 



About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit