In my last blog I brought two examples of the connection between arts and Science. Nevertheless, none of the two examples is directly connected with science education in the primary level. Luckily enough this week I can bring an Irish example being developed in Galway that does precisely that: connects science education in the primary level with the Arts.
Merging Arts and Science: an educational example
This week, I was informally discussing ideas with some colleagues of mine of the Irish Seaweed Research Group in NUIG, and they are giving their time and expertise to a joint project between Baboró, the amazing arts Galway based group and several science research groups in NUIG. This project is at the heath of what I was referring to in the previous blog, integrating Arts and Science, and using both to enhance children’s learning. The idea is quite engaging. Researchers in NUIG will develop and deliver lessons to primary school classrooms, which will focus on the idea of a sustainable future, with zero carbon emissions. They aim to explain how their work is helping to build that world. Following on from these lessons, the students will take what they have learnt and will work with an artist, to create an arts-based interpretation of the research. This art will be presented in an exhibition. This will definitely be an exhibition not to lose and I for sure cannot wait to see the art that will come out of this project. The science side of it will definitely be interesting as well. From the ideas for activities I have been discussing with my colleagues in ISRG, there will also be several minds on/hand on activities coming up on the science side. And the ISRG are just one of several research groups that will be involved in the project, so one can expect a lot of science being brought to primary schools in a creative way. I will continue to follow up with this project and probably write more about it, as it passes the design stage. I know that some of these researchers will be for the first time in a school setting with primary level students doing practical activities. I am really looking forward to hear what experiences they’ll take out of this project.
Seeing this creative element of science being explored in education always reminds me of the words of Dr. Ken Robinson. He is an advocate for the development of creativity and states that creative thinking is one of the most important skills that we can give to students that are now passing through the education system. He argues the world nowadays moves so fast that we have no idea how it will look in five years time. So, one of the of the core skills to develop with children in order for them to face this ever changing world, is their unlimited capacity for innovation and their creativity. And this is something that schools in the past, and in the present still, find hard to do, so all help is welcomed, in my opinion.