Page 9 - Menlo Magazine: Summer/Fall 2018
P. 9

   “The ability to make connections across disciplines—arts and sciences, humanities and technology—is key to innovation, imagination, and genius,” says author Walter Isaacson, who has written biographies on innovators such as Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs. What do Isaacson’s subjects all have in common? They each realized that the skills required for them to succeed in their respective fields were learned through their experiences with and connection to the arts. Isaacson observed that:
Benjamin Franklin...was a Leonardo of his era: with
no formal education, he taught himself to become an imaginative polymath who was Enlightenment America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist...Albert Einstein, when he was stymied in
his pursuit of his theory of relativity, would pull out
his violin and play Mozart, which helped him
reconnect with the harmonies of the cosmos...
And Steve Jobs climaxed his product launches
with an image of street signs showing the
intersection of the liberal arts and technology.
Leonardo was his hero. "He saw beauty in both
art and engineering," Jobs said, "and his ability
to combine them was what made
him a genius."
Menlo strives to foster this important intersection between arts and sciences and offers a well-rounded liberal arts education where students can try new things and follow their interests. Through art courses at all levels—from beginner to advanced—and numerous performance opportunities in both the Middle and Upper School, Menlo students can participate in high-quality drama, dance, visual arts, and music programs. And through these offerings, they have opportunities to
gain valuable skills that are essential in navigating our ever- changing world, such as collaboration, empathy, creative thinking, presenting before an audience, and problem solving.
Menlo often hears from our alumni that the arts programs gave them a different lens to view the world with and a way to
express themselves. It was their home on campus, a place to reflect and retreat from the stresses of teenage life.
Here several alumni discuss how the arts at Menlo shaped who they are, how they balanced STEM and the arts, and the importance of the arts in
education for students growing up in Silicon Valley.

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