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BYU Art Professor Travels to Nepal to Incorporate Art into Math and Science Curriculum

BYU art professor Mark Graham was named a Fulbright Scholar, which has allowed him to work with faculty and students from Kathmandu University (KU) in Nepal Department of Art professor Mark Graham was placed on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for a tenure of three years. Currently, Graham has a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal to help implement STEAM education in conjunction with efforts from students and faculty from Kathmandu University (KU). “STEAM combines art with math, engineering, science and design,” said Graham. “It provides advocacy for the arts, access to STEM subjects, new approaches to teaching, curriculum and opportunities for underserved populations.” While STEM education is more widely known, STEAM education takes the previous education system focusing on science, technology, engineering and math and adds art to the equation. Many educators see STEAM education as an exciting opportunity to more fully engage their students in interdisciplinary topics in a hands-on experience.

Graham has already traveled to Nepal once for the STEAM project but will return on various trips for the next two years. His purpose is to help math and science teachers in Nepal understand how they can more fully integrate the arts into the curriculum, learn about art education trends in Nepal, develop a long-term collaborative research relationship with faculty at KU and open the door for future educational exchanges between BYU and KU students. “Being a Fulbright Scholar has given me the tremendous opportunity to work with scholars and students from Nepal,” said Graham. “We will hopefully involve BYU students in a project that will have a lasting impact for teachers and children in Nepal. This is the culmination of over five years of planning.” Graham was nominated as a Fulbright Scholar by the Peer Review Panel and was awarded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and World Learning. The Fulbright Program, established by Congress in 1946, gives grants to U.S. citizens for the purpose of studying, teaching and doing research abroad. Since its creation, more than 390,000 students and teachers of art and science have been able to participate in international education exchange programs in over 150 countries worldwide.

His roster tenure as a Fulbright Scholar began on October 12, 2018 and will end on October 12, 2021. In addition to his trips to Nepal as a Fulbright Scholar, Graham is working on another STEAM education project in collaboration with the BYU McKay School of Education. Through this project, Graham and the McKay School of Education hope Utah elementary schools will embrace integrated arts learning. The three-year project consists of Graham visiting local schools and helping teachers properly implement the curriculum. This project has been funded by the BYU Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education & Schooling (CITES).