Art is one of the greatest avenues for teaching your children about science. When we combine art and science we not only develop innovative ideas but we hone skills that teach us to analyze critical data and design a process for thinking. What does that mean?
Kidspace Children’s Museum is about to embark on a world renowned revelation of our new Galvin Physics Forest. This exhibit explores the theories of magnetism, force, kinetic energy and more. Our roller coaster exhibit features a great scientific example of creativity required to produce effective scientific results. Children are struck with a problem in which they are forced to think of creative ways to solve. For example, how do I design a piece that will scientifically prove a physics theory and yet be proven again with a different design? How will your children use this theory later in life? Someday our children will be building an engine of a car and designing the aerodynamics of its exterior or maybe they will invent the next advancement in technology.
At Kidspace Children’s Museum we believe firmly that art can be used to analyze scientific data and create something aesthetically pleasing by nature of design. One of our favorite examples is our rock salt and watercolor artscience projects which addresses the push-pull ionic bonds that exist in the salt to create the star-like shape on the page. You can enjoy this workshop on July 8, 2012 and many other art workshops like it by registering online at: https://www.kidspacemuseum.org/hands-learning/art-workshops .
With our new Galvin Physics Forest exhibit we can host a breadth of new art activities that address different physical science topics and concepts like magnet painting. This project is so easy, a little messy and can be done with varied approaches on the same concept. At the Busy Bee Learning Store you can check out fun magnet kits you can actually paint with! You will need: a magnet ball and wand kit, cookie sheet, construction paper and paint; I highly recommend that you use the primary colors for this project as it will illustrate the scientific theory much more effectively. This project illustrates the science of magnetism by mixing the primary colors to create secondary colors using magnet balls.
To do this activity at home you can easily find a tin pan at the 99 cent store and construction paper to use as a unique background. Scoop little blobs of paint (again, stay with the primary colors, one of each) onto the paper and place the magnet balls in the paint. Move the magnet wand under the tin pan which should move the balls through the paint and mix the primary colors. The balls move around the pan with the wand because the magnets are attracted to each other which gives the artist more control over where the magnet balls are moved to create new designs and mix colors. What colors can you make?
If you want to step away from the theory of magnets and step into the physical science of push find marbles laying around the house and place them in the same blobs of paint. Now hold the tin pan at both ends and tilt it to move the marbles through the paint to mix. In this exercise children are experimenting with the property of push. Tilting the pan pushes the marbles around to mix the primary colors.
Blog Entry by:
Leslie Fraser is the Arts and Nature Education Specialist and has taught the art and science combination for four years. She graduated from Whittier College with a degree in Art and Art History where the college emphasized overlapping links between subjects.