There is a heavy emphasis today put on engaging students in the STEM curriculum – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics - but the chances of being a great scientist, an innovator, an inventor, is improved by exposure and involvement in the arts.
The connection between arts and the sciences is well established in history, but not as fully appreciated today. Leonardo da Vinci is probably the strongest example of the artist/scientist in history, but more modern day examples exist.
Einstein, an accomplished musician, attributed the theory of relativity to musical inspiration. “My theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition.”
Richard Feynman is famous in the world of science and physics for his work on the atomic bomb, quantum mechanics, and is considered one of the 10 greatest physicists of all time….He was also a badass bongo player. He attributed “acoustic images” as a tool used in scientific problem solving.
The connection between arts and scientists can include artists Samuel Morse and Robert Fulton. Both well known for their inventions, but less well known that they were accomplished, professional artists first.
This is a great article on many other famous artist/crafters/inventors like famed film star Hedy Lamarr, who along with a composer friend, created the basis for today’s communication encryption. ( The encryption method was first used by the United States military during the Cuban missile crises)
Studies have found that having at least one intellectually simulating hobby is often a better predictor for success than intelligence tests, school grades or standardized tests.
A recent study, summarized in this article by one of the authors, compares average scientists with those considered to be great innovators and inventors — and it argues that arts & crafts are a common theme among the great.