Mondays @ the Museum Behind-the-Scenes – Week 4: S.T.E.M. at the Museum!?

Week 1 Intro to the Museum 

Week 2 Gallery/Topic Exploration: Reading ART

Week 3 Gallery/ Topic Exploration: looking through a Social Studies lens 

Week 4 Gallery/ Topic Exploration: looking through a S.T.E.M. lens 

Week 5 Gallery/ Topic Exploration: Experiencing with Performing Arts 

Week 6 Review and culmination exercises

MONDAY: October 5, 2020

I have really been looking forward to this week! This topic often gets the most question marks from teachers to parents to colleagues to husbands. However, it may be the most obvious connection of all!

11 years ago, I was leading a weekly, all-day Saturday, teacher professional development course to Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers in Los Angeles, called “Teaching Our World Through the Arts” at the Skirball Cultural Center. One weekend in October, my father, a visual artist, was visiting from out of town and I invited him to present a session to the teachers on the Divine Ratio and Fibonacci sequence and how to teach math with art. We explored ratios and fractions rules of 3rds and patterns in nature. So much FUN!

It was one of the most raved about sessions, as it provided many of the teachers a new way to view mathematics and a new tool to teach it with: art!

As an Education Director at a Science Center, I work mostly on sharing STEM concepts to our community in an accessible and engaging way, so visitors to my museum can build their literacy in these areas and inspiration to learn more. Not everyone uses the same entry points into concepts and art is often an easier way to introduce the concept that math is mainly just a study of patterns. Because of this, I strongly believe in integrating the “A” for arts into the STEM acronym to create STEAM. As the students and I discovered today, Art and STEM go hand in hand making it silly, in my mind, to separate them.

Here’s a great video made by the Idaho STEM Action Center providing some great visual definitions of STEM!

In today’s session I presented simplified definitions of STEM in an attempt to take away the fog and mirrors that STEM concepts are complex or difficult to understand. We took these simple definitions and explored how Science Technology Engineering and Math are found at Museums and in the art. We explored the paintings to discuss whether or not the artists used the rule of thirds or other patterns to draw our eyes to a story and how the artists themselves integrated the scientific method with the artistic process, such as Claude Monet painting 250 paintings/experiments on water lilies to explore how to show the beauty of how light is represented and reflected off of the pond. With these new observation skills and STEM “lenses” to look through, students now have an engaging game they can play at the museum to see how artists use mathematical rules or break mathematical rules to help tell a story.

I will end this blog by sharing another blog written by my colleague, Haley Hill at the Discovery Center of Idaho exploring not only how math is found in art but in nature and all around us. Golden Spirals

Next week we look at Performing Arts in the museum!

The arts, it has been said, cannot change the world, but they may change human beings who might change the world.

Maxine Green

#zerotohero #artseducation #museumeducation #museums #virtuallearning #mondaysatthemuseum #howtolookatart #fineart #stemeducation #steam #stemcareers #inquiry

Check out the website & purchase the course today!

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