Visitors to Greenville’s Artisphere festival earlier this month found plenty to spark their creativity in the Clemson University STEAM tent — from teaching robots how to draw and animated characters how to dance, to experimenting with light wavelengths on Skittles.

Students make sculptures out of straws and paperclips in Clemson University's STEAM tent at Artisphere.

Students make sculptures out of straws and paperclips in Clemson University’s STEAM tent at Artisphere.

Wait. What? That’s right, Skittles. Clemson’s innovative STEAM exhibits were educational and inspiring, but most of all, fun. And many folks thought so. Festival organizers estimate more than 75,000 people visited the tent during the three-day event. Kids of all ages were making art in the name of science, or science in the name of the art, depending on your point of view. STEAM is a national trend to fuse the arts with  STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

At the festival’s midpoint, two Clemson deans announced the formation of a new Clemson STEAM Network. Charged with coordinating and facilitating STEAM initiatives at the University, the  new network is already thriving, with a diverse group of faculty, staff members and students and more on the way.

“When we circulated the initial call to see if anyone at Clemson was interested in serving on a collaborative STEAM network, the response was immediate and overwhelming,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “And with Artisphere as our launch pad, interest has blossomed in the community as well.”

Artisphere is nationally ranked as one of the top arts festivals in the United States and has proven to be a great place for Clemson to connect with the community. Throughout the three-day event, parents and educators reached out to the University repeatedly with ideas and suggestions and questions about STEAM initiatives.

“How can we get involved?” was the refrain for three packed days.

“It’s gratifying when we hit the mark so well and when we connect with each other in such a meaningful way,” said Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering and Science. “I have no doubt that we are on the horizon of seeing some truly unique and inventive collaborations at Clemson University.”

How you can get involved:

Contact Alexa Woodward woodwa6@clemson.edu or Shannon Robert shanrob@clemson.edu for partnership opportunities or to be added to the STEAM Network mailing list.

Read more about the recent STEAM exhibits here:

http://www.clemson.edu/steam/

View photos from Artisphere 2015:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/clemsonuniversity/sets/72157649779368143/