Arts academic calls for an extra 'A' in STEM

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A leading computer games expert has called for drawing to be added to the national curriculum.

A leading computer games expert has called for drawing to be added to the national curriculum.

Michael Powell, principal lecturer for game art design at De Montfort University, said drawing skills are essential for youngsters keen to go into the computer games industry – but many school-leavers lack them.

“The scandal we face at the moment is that we have nearly 400 applicants for 40 places every year and probably 60 per cent of those students, even the ones with art A levels, can’t draw,” he said.

“Drawing is not a mandatory component of the education system. That is as scandalous as if maths was taken off the curriculum or if English was not taught using grammar and sentences.”

Speaking at Digital Shoreditch, a London conference to celebrate creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent, Mr Powell said that many students who enrolled on his university course had to be taught how to draw. With the current drive to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in schools, he believed art should be added alongside the other STEM subjects.

“STEM is not enough,” he continued. “What we really need is STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and maths – because without art, all that science, all that technology, will not connect with human beings.”


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