What do you get when you mash science, art and mathematics? At Graland, the answer is a cross-departmental unit that challenges and engages students in creative learning. It’s easy to see why Graland students love learning how to learn!
In March 2018, middle schoolers were given time to explore the interconnectedness of math, art and science in exciting and collaborative ways.
“Our goal was to create fun activities that give students opportunities to see how these subjects are often intertwined, since the solution to most modern problems will involve more than one discipline,” shares Nanette Newman, learning specialist and project coordinator.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, students took on challenges that explored concepts of engineering, force and design. To build an arched bridge, they used only 18 popsicle sticks to mimic da Vinci’s design and then used math to calculate the efficiency of their bridges.
In the Gates Lab, they experimented with mixing acrylic paint, silicone, water and Floetrol, a latex paint additive. Using information about density and polarity, they hypothesized about how the molecules would interact and then tested their ideas on ceramic tile.
Paper airplanes, marbling, string art and glow stick photography were a few more of the 25 activities designed by math, art and science teachers at Graland.
All School Art Installation
Beginning in December, students also worked across departments on an all-school art installation unveiled at the Spring Art Show. The inspiration for this project is Louise Nevelson, an artist who creates sculptures from reclaimed materials. Each student was asked to bring in a few visually interesting items from home that were slated to be discarded or donated. In art class, they arranged the items into a collage and, like Nevelson, turned the piece into monochromatic art.
Math lessons range from counting and estimating (Lower School) to using statistics to analyze and interpret data about the items (Middle School). Related lessons on the zero waste concept had students exploring the ethics of consumerism as well as thermodynamics, energy and resource conservation.