Mad Science/Mad Art
Dates: 9/13-12/13, 2016
NOTE: This is a 2-hour class
Tuesdays 1pm-2pm Ages 5-9
Join us for a twelve-week exploration of four topics, which we will study through science activities and art explorations. Each two-hour session we will blend observation, experimentation, written expression, and visual art. Students will keep scientist/artist notebooks for gathering observations, jotting analogies, and documenting discoveries. We will also use a wide variety of art materials as our scientific findings inspire creative processes.
REGISTER NOW FOR AGES 5-9 (link coming soon!)
Weeks 1 & 2: Chromatography
What colors are hidden in your black magic marker? What is going on when green summer leaves turn brilliant orange and red? We will learn chromatography – a technique that chemists use to analyze biological materials – to understand the molecules in ink and leaves. And we will play with chromatography to pattern paper and fabric and reveal hidden find.
Weeks 3, 4, & 5: Water Science
What happens inside water when it turns to ice or boils on the stove? Why does rain form beads on a glass window? We will play with water droplets and explore surface tension. We will blow bubbles and learn about water’s molecular structure. The states of matter will be our focus when we freeze and boil the substance that life depends on. Poetry, printing, and painting techniques will help us create artwork that expresses our scientific discoveries.!
Weeks 6, 7, and 8: Vertebrate Coverings
Why do some animals have feathers while others are covered in scales? And why do humans have a lot of exposed skin while other mammals are very furry? We’ll look closely with hand-lenses and microscopes at the coverings of different animals, draw and write about the patterns we observe, and hypothesize about each creature’s adaptations. As artists we’ll magnify fingerprints into swirling maps, print scaly fish inspired by the Japanese tradition, and make and paint with deer tail brushes that wick ink like those of ancient Chinese painters.
Weeks 9, 10, & 11: Sensorial World
How does your skin help you recognize the world? Why is it hard to taste your food when you hold your nose or to balance when your eyes are closed? Is your eardrum really a drum? We will test our senses of touch in identifying mystery objects and find out how our skin gathers information for our brain to process. We will use balloons and tin can telephones among other ordinary instruments to understand the physics of sound. Designing textures and shapes, we’ll sculpt sensorial amulets. Pondering the phenomenon of synesthesia, we’ll make oil pastel images that capture different sounds and musical forms. As a culmination of this creative science fun, we’ll begin to create an interactive hands-on experience for family members to explore!
Week 12: Interactive Share
What did we learn and how did we learn it? This week is an opportunity for students to reflect on our twelve weeks, and to design an interactive learning experience for the larger Rivertown Homeschooler Hub community. As the old, wise teacher says, “Learning becomes knowledge when one teaches what one has learned.” We will prepare poetry, artwork, and favorite experiences from our class-time together for sharing with our family and friends
About the instructor: Ilana Friedman received her Masters of Arts in Teaching at Brown University and taught third grade at a progressive public school in New York City called the Brooklyn New School. In 2011, she co-founded the Brooklyn Craft Workshop. She also works as a potter and took classes at Haystack Mountain and Penland Schools of Craft. She knows first-hand how incredibly fun it is to explore materials and create alongside other passionate makers.
Ilana loves nurturing a spirit of collaboration among students. Working together, students ask questions, solve problems, and find even more joy in the process of making things.
After moving upstream to the Hudson Valley, Ilana founded Beacon Craft Workshop! She lives with her husband Bryan, her daughter Samara, and Schermerhorn the cat.