Benefits of arts in a stem-centered universe

Ingrid Chan, Asst. Photo Editor

In an environment like Diamond Bar High School that’s so focused on promoting STEM-related classes, many students fail to recognize the benefits of exposing themselves to the arts. This isn’t just happening in DBHS, but in schools nationwide, as many educational facilities have begun cutting back on art programs due to budget restraints.

The truth is, different people excel at different things—some are more proficient at mathematics and science while others find their calling in the creative arts. But, those who have managed to dip their paws into both fields tend to hold the upper hand; it becomes an advantage once they’re part of the young adult demographic looking for employment.

Many students have the misconception that choosing a profession in the arts will guarantee a struggle for survival in the future. In the 21st Century, the arts have expanded its influence further than ever before, having significance in almost every occupation — such as the promotional, graphic design and advertising departments present in almost every company.

In a recent study conducted by Education Week, a large population of high school students across the U.S. were tracked for three years and required to take a minimum one credit of art education. Statistics reveal that students who took more than one credit of art education were 1.5 times more likely to meet or exceed the ACT Plan national average composite score.

These results can be attributed to the dedication arts require. Being an artist isn’t just about working on your art alone, it’s about time management. It teaches the ability to focus on one thing for hours on end, not because you have to finish it for class, but because you truly want to perfect it. For many, it is also a way to relieve stress while still being productive and creative.

There’s something magical about smearing pencil and paint across a piece of paper and sculpting models with your hands; something special about finally perfecting a song after hours of practicing or watching a recording of yourself act out a compelling story; something unique in the feeling you get when capturing a stunningly beautiful image on film or the sensation of your entire body moving as you dance to a particularly energetic bop.

Learning how to express oneself with color, shape and form can enrich anyone’s life and provide more opportunities than one would have without it.