By Bonnie Wright, Curator of Education and Community Engagement
What is Science of Art?
Science of Art is a core education program, integrating science and art themes, offered to students of all ages every spring at Museum of Glass (MOG). The concept of linking science and art is extremely popular in education today, but the Museum has been running this program since 2003!
Science of Art involves two main components: an in-class visit from a MOG Art Educator, who delivers a lesson and leads hands-on experiments, and a MOG visit by students to solidify all that has been learned from the Science of Art curriculum. Every other year, MOG alternates curricula—From Sand to Rainbows: The Prismatic Colors of Glass and The Luminous Optics of Glass. This spring, we focused on the latter.
How is the experience organized?
1) Classroom Visit from a MOG Art Educator
Ahead of this visit, MOG sends the participating teacher a detailed curriculum to familiarize the students with the material that will be discussed when the MOG Art Educator visits. When the Educator visits the classroom, s/he delivers a lesson and aids the class in hands-on discovery and experiments.
2) Museum of Glass Visit
The on-site visit takes place in several areas of the Museum:
Museum emcee Greg Owen sets the stage during every visit by orienting the groups about the glassblowing process and equipment. Afterward, I explain the concept of fiber optics with the students while demonstrating with several props.
Museum docents guide the students through the current exhibitions, focusing on glass art that exemplifies the scientific concepts discussed in the curriculum.
Neon artist Galen Turner engages students with a neon light demonstration in the Museum Theater.
Artist Jennifer Adams facilitates an art project that focuses on the curriculum. This year, students made decorative jars with glass embellishments meant to refract light and transmit different colors.
It’s hard to believe that another spring of Science of Art is over! It was a very successful year, with 984 students participating. In just the last few years, Science of Art attendance has grown rapidly—from 403 in 2013, to 666 in 2014, to 789 in 2015, and nearly 1,000 this year!
Contact the MOG Education Department staff for more details on how your students can be involved or tell an educator about the program!
Bonnie Wright is the Curator of Education and Community Engagement at Museum of Glass. A newcomer to the west coast, Bonnie can often be found exploring Tacoma, Seattle, and the region’s natural wonders.