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Strategic innovation advisor Alex Manu first coined the “imagination gap” as the difference between current capability and future possibility. Manu and many researchers assert that to solve our biggest challenges, we must incorporate creative thinking into the scientific perspective.

In fact, the trend is gaining such momentum that educators at University of San Diego and elsewhere are adding an A to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The A of course stands for art, changing the acronym to STEAM.

This addition is because art complements science. Playing piano, painting, writing novels and poetry, woodworking, crocheting and other creative pursuits improve problem-solving, boost design skills and help us focus longer with greater precision.