Monday, March 30, 2009

Concept of Scale

Collaborations between artists and scientists have yielded many intriguing projects over the past 20-plus years, as documented on the ASCI website. Having engaged in a fruitful art/science collaboration with Claire Beynon from 2005-8, the next step for our outreach program was to share this experience with elementary, middle, and high-school students. Enter the Capital Region Center for Arts in Education (CRCAE).

Based on our collaboration, artists Chris Moran and Pavlos Mayakis, together with poet Cara Benson, ran a CRCAE-sponsored art/science workshop for teachers last summer. This outreach project was recently put to the test: a classroom of bubbly bright 7th- and 8th-grade students in Holly May's English class at New Lebanon Junior/Senior High School were engaged in an art/science experience that explored the concept of scale. Expository writing was an essential ingredient of the program, providing another link between diverse curricula. Details will follow at the artscience alliance website; below are a few images to set the stage:

Thinking about Claire Beynon's interpretive artwork

Writing observations

Dr. B, artist Chris Moran, and writing instructor Holly May


  1. Hi Sam ~
    I'm so glad that you are sharing your "micro-scale" Antarctica art-science research with students, and posting some of the students' work in their current "concept of scale" classroom project.

    To me, today's most thought-provoking scientific research is being done at the extremes of micro/macro scale [astrophysics, nanotechnology, the genome, biotech, and of course, your work with single-cell lifeforms!

    The renown Harvard educator, Howard Gardner, in his theory of "multiple intelligences," believes that the more of our human senses that are utilized in educational projects, the more visceral the information becomes to the learner. Utilizing the arts in science education sharpens our tools of observation and reinforces the academic information in a very personal way, which is then never forgotten!

  2. Good on you, Sam. I'm amazed to see those junior feet so firmly and attentively planted on the floor.
    (Have also started blogging, finally, on my website:
    Wishing you well.)