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TAMS to introduce music, design, media and visual arts to curriculum in fall 2019

TAMS to introduce music, design, media and visual arts to curriculum in fall 2019

April 19
21:51 2018

UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science students will have the opportunity to incorporate arts into their studies under a new curriculum that will be implemented in fall 2019.

The program will add music, media arts, visual arts and design to the existing tracks in science, computer science and engineering.

“We wanted to give our students the opportunity to also be able to develop their talents and think across the disciplines and also see what opportunities they can find at the interface of the areas of art and STEM,” TAMS Dean Glênisson de Oliveira said.

TAMS is a two-year residential program established in 1988 that allows early college entrance for gifted high school students who “tackle real-world problems, working on solutions and breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to energy consumption,” according to the UNT TAMS website.

“Everyone that goes to TAMS will continue to have advanced courses in STEM, and that’s at the core of what we expect of all students that come to TAMS,” Oliveira said. “This is just an opportunity for people to dive a little deeper into other areas.”

The three new curricular tracks will give students opportunities to develop their interests to prepare for careers that combine knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with an artistic foundation, de Oliveira said.

“We’ve always had artistic people in TAMS,” Oliveira said. “Our students have multiple intelligences and multiple talents and so for us to make this type of training and education more systematic will just help those types of students to just flourish and to do well in their many interests.”

UNT accepts 374 students into each class of the TAMS program.

TAMS biology senior Linda Harl said she is impressed by the coming changes to the TAMS curriculum.

“With modern technology and how we’re progressing these days, art and math and science are related,” Harl said. “I think it’s really interesting how they’re bringing that up and TAMS is taking a step in the right direction. I don’t think it would have changed my track, but it would have been really interesting to have those people around because you can learn from them.”

The five tracks all require courses in biology, chemistry, math and physics, as well as required UNT core curriculum courses in English, history and political science.

The music track will require students to take courses in aural skills, music as communication and music theory in the College of Music and take lessons for an instrument.

Students who choose the visual art and design track will be required to take courses in art appreciation, art history and design through the College of Visual Arts and Design while students in the media arts track will study video writing and production through the Department of Media Arts. Additionally, each track will require specific admission criteria, according to a UNT press release.

TAMS biology senior Michelle Sanchir said she is grateful for her TAMS experience and that she thinks the curriculum changes will improve future students’ experiences.

“I think it will really add to the interdisciplinary experience,” Sanchir said. “In this changing world, these additional tracks are necessary, and I think it [will add] a new sense of community here.”

Oliveira said there are numerous possibilities in the world for people who can think across disciplines.

“What we are trying to do, generally, is to prepare students for jobs and careers that may not even exist yet,” Oliveira said. “These students are supposed to acquire a sufficient number of tools that will enable them to be productive in certain markets. I think they’re going to be able to use their creativity to do well with that strong foundation in STEM and bring a number of things to the table.”

The curriculum change will be implemented in fall 2019 to allow time for coordination between the numerous departments in generating cohesive tracks.

Featured Image: McConnell Hall is where TAMS students reside. Jacob Ostermann

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel was the news editor at the North Texas Daily from August 2018 to May 2019, and previously served as a staff writer from June 2017 to August 2018.

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