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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Pageant contestant advocates that arts provide 'a new perspective'

Laurie Rees, freelance writer reports, "Brianna Layman is using her beauty to advocate brain power."

As a biochemistry major and upcoming senior at Allegheny College, the 21-year-old Franklin Park resident said she is living proof that music and art education are vital to understanding science and math. When schools eliminate the arts from their curriculum, she said they are committing a great disservice to students.

To better spread her message, she entered her first pageant — a local pageant near her college campus in Meadville — where she competed in swimsuit and evening-gown competitions, a talent contest, on-stage questioning and creation of a personal platform based on an issue she will work to promote.

Layman's platform, titled “The Art of Science: From STEM to STEAM,” stresses the importance of music and art education in schools, where subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are taking increased precedence and funding. The “A” in STEAM stands for “arts.”...

“The arts have given me a new perspective on how I view, learn, and study science and math. Creativity and music learning have demonstrated benefits on the brain which create new neural pathways allowing students to understand the big picture of science, data and solving complex math problems rather than just ‘plugging and chugging' numbers into an equation or regurgitating facts. With the arts, you can visual science better, the pathways and mechanisms,” she explained.

Source: Tribune-Review