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Matt Bowler, KPBS Education Reporter

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The hot new movement in education is combining science, technology, engineering, art and math — also known as STEAM education.

Two San Diego organizations — San Diego Youth Symphony and Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab — were honored Wednesday for their work on STEAM programs in San Diego schools.

Kim Richards, co-founder of STEAM Connect, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing STEAM education, said music and science have a lot more in common than many may think.

“You can’t have good engineering without creativity,” Richards said. “It’s just not possible.”

For seventh grade Chula Vista student Luna Enriquez, music helps her in math.

“If you don’t understand a problem in math, you start thinking about it musically,” Enriquez said.

San Diego Youth Symphony’s Opus Project teacher Lowri Casimiro said music is beneficial to children because it’s a crucial time in their neurological development.

“This is the only chance we’ve got to build these bridges in their minds,” Casimiro said.

For this reason, Thinkabit Lab teacher Saura Nader said educators need to jump on the STEAM bandwagon.

“It’s right there,” Nader said. “If you’re not on it now, you need to be on it now.”

San Diego Youth Symphony