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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Science and the Arts

Science and the Arts

Related Tags: STEM
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Hi, I'm wondering what kinds of experiences other teachers have had, in terms of integrating arts into science and math classes? I've taught several math- and science-infused poetry residencies. I really like using "Verse & Universe: Poetry About Science & Mathematics" (edited by Kurt Brown) as a classroom source. Cheers, Dan

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Bill Marsh's picture

Dan asked what kinds of experiences other teachers have had, in terms of integrating arts into science and math classes?

I have enjoyed using linear perspective in geometry classes.

I once asked an eighth grade math class if they wanted to hear the square root of two. They woke up when I sang a solid augmented fourth. They were intrigued with the Devil's Interval.

A boy brought in his bass guitar. After he played it a bit, we measured some fret distances, did some work with calculators, and talked about Bach's well-tempered scale and the twelfth root of two.

There is a notation system for the positive integers based on prime decomposition. Here are the first half dozen numbers, in order, written in "primary": 0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101. So far it looks a lot like binary, though off by one. But here are the next half dozen numbers writtten in it in order: 1000, 111, 110, 1001, 10000, 1011.

In new words to "Summertime",

In this notation,
Multiplication is easy.
But addition is hard,
Even just adding one.

It's sort of like fractions,
Your stomach gets queezy.
But hush and don't worry,
We're just having fun.

Chad Pavlekovich's picture
Chad Pavlekovich
6-7-8 Lead STEM Science Teacher @ SMS STEM Program, Salisbury, Maryland

Having an Art Teacher for a wife has allowed me to integrate art into my middle school science classes quite easily. I give my students ample opportunities to use their creative side to explain scientific concepts that we are discussing in class. I currently have two STEM classes working on a extensive NASA like project in which one section requires them to render drawings or models of exo-planets based on their own research. As another requirement, students have to design a mission patch for their program, one that relates to their mission. I also have students create short sci-fi stories around such topics as commanding a ship into a black hole, creating a super-hero origin story based on a form of energy which includes illustrations either drawn or computer generated( I also try an encourage them to dress up and act out their super-hero). Students also have to create advertising for a thermal cup they have developed and tested in the lab. I also have my students illustrate many different objects that we study in class, students design blueprints for roller coasters, they create watercolors of nebulae and galaxies from photographs and they also create short comic strips to help explain processes such as the transformation of ice to water to water vapor and back. It is quite easy I believe to incorporate art into the science curriculum, it helps the students with visual learning and concept retention. Your students may question you at first and say "this isn't art class" but once they get started you will be amazed at what they will do. Good luck.

KellyAnn Bonnell's picture
KellyAnn Bonnell
Education and Outreach - Arts for Social Change Director

I've had alot of luck integrating theatre into science & math by having the kids look at the tech side of theatre and how things are created. Whether it be the science behind creating shatter glass (sugar plates) or light metrics for light design. Arts integration into STEM is an important part of keeping arts alive in schools.

Here's a great guide we created for AVATAR which helps teachers see the curricular links for the movie.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Search/avatar/Any/All/All/All

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Dear KellyAnn Bonnell,

Thank you for passing along the Digital Photography Review website
"Triangles" worldwide photo challenge to your Geometry Teacher...
I'm glad "she loves it." and tell her to check back regularly as the Photo Geometry Series keeps changing...

And for her teacher colleagues at her school, there are many other subject category "Challenges" showcasing some of the best photographers in the world ...

Meanwhile, for your Geometry Teacher Friend again: here is a new Mind-Boggling "Challenge"/Resource for her and/or any of her GATE Students and/or Colleagues and/or any STEM Professionals, etc. to help me figure out how to construct the 3-D Paper Cube Mechanical Gears that are featured in this Youtube Geometry Video I just viewed about 15 minutes ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfspDCpVDTw&NR=1

Wow!!! ...I took some still photo screen-shots with my camera to help me "see"/"visualize" the internal gearing structure, but I think this will require a Team Effort folks...

to be continued... and please post any comments or suggestions for me to construct a paper/card working model to share with you all...

Maybe some 3-D Graphic Computer Professionals can help here...

I'm all ears and eyes...

Kepler's Apprentice,

Allen Berg
kasha8888@yahoo.com

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