NEXMAP has an impressive track record of bringing cutting edge arts experiences to youth in the SF Bay Area. From intimate presentations by world-renowned artists to hands-on creative experiences, NEXMAP demonstrates its commitment to inspiring and giving voice to the next generation.

While many policy makers are waking up to the fact that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are essential for young people to succeed in the future, people are also realizing that technical fields alone won’t create the innovative society that we need to keep humanity moving forward. The arts, design, and creative competence are equally important skills to foster in our youth. The conversation is expanding from STEM to STEAM (STEM + the Arts).

In this vein, we are excited to announce a new strand of Inside/Out programming exploring 21st century notebooking. Visual artists, engineers, writers, musicians, scientists, and other curious people have used notebooks to help them gather information, explore ideas, and plan projects. Collaborating with a cadre of visionary artist-engineers, we’re developing ways to innovate this time-honored practice by adding light, sound, and computer programming to pen-and-paper notebooks.

Our first exploration is paper circuitry: using flat, inexpensive materials to add light to your notebook. Working with artist, engineer, and MIT Media Lab doctoral candidate, Jie Qi, we’ve developed a brief overview for teachers and a fun activity to hack the storybook.           

The website’s new look is just one example of how NEXMAP is looking to the future. We’ll be blogging about program development, workshop reports, and hearing from some of the artists and educators we’re working with, so stay tuned and add us to your RSS feed.