Learning Science through Art Making Process

 
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We started 2018 with a great attempt, integrating science with art, Ocean G. has been wanting to do these lessons for the longest time. This move from comfort zone into the grey areas, this uncertainty of exploration kept me quite unsettled. We did a lot of research and test do the experiments, then pour in the creative juice to uphold the aesthetic processes and outcome of each artworks.

Science and art naturally overlap, both are a means of investigation. Both involve ideas, theories, and hypotheses that are tested in places where mind and hand come together—despite one in laboratory and the other in studio. Artists, like scientists, study—materials, people, culture, history, religion, mythology— and learn to transform information into something else. In ancient Greece, the word for art was techne, from which technique and technology are derived—terms that are aptly applied to both scientific and artistic practices.

Leonard Da Vinci is often considered the first true scientist, and yet for many it is his works of art that are best remembered. Leonardo himself considered painting to be more science than art, seeing each discipline’s ultimate aim to allow interpretation of the world. Classically art achieves this through the human senses while science takes things further, exploiting instruments to detect things beyond our sensory perception.

How do we then put all these theories and concepts across to our very young artists? Can the 3~4 years old children understand the science behind each experiment?

Lesson 1 of the “Art and Science” module was on Velocity where children experiment paints spin in fast and slow speed to create a blending effect. They also explore how Jackson Pollock dripped and splattered paints to create his masterpieces.  Every child took their learning very differently, some were excited to use the salad mixer and spin the artwork within, some observed how colours were blended, some were excited to have paints landed on their artworks and their body when they splattered paints. This was one of the times that they do not mind having their hands dirtied with paints. 

 Lesson 2 - Invisible Ink - Citrus Acid; I think “magic” is all time favourite for all. Children experimented with invisible ink liquids such as milk, vinegar, lemon, sodium bicarbonate, and tea, to draw patterns on a white background and wait for it to dry. Then to disguise the message, they used watercolour to create another layer of patterns on top. The invisible ink will show up when exposed to gentle heat due to their acidity.

Lesson 2 - Invisible Ink - Citrus Acid; I think “magic” is all time favourite for all. Children experimented with invisible ink liquids such as milk, vinegar, lemon, sodium bicarbonate, and tea, to draw patterns on a white background and wait for it to dry. Then to disguise the message, they used watercolour to create another layer of patterns on top. The invisible ink will show up when exposed to gentle heat due to their acidity.

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Lesson 3 - Solubility - Children explored the property of permanent marker, ink and dye as well as natural pigment from plants. The child learns the different ways of folding the fabric to create interesting patterns using tie and dye techniques.

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Lesson 4 - Hydrophobicity - Water fearing - Do you know why water and oil do not mix together? Can glue help to hold them together? Children set out to find out the anwers to these questions.

These experimental art making processes are excellent for mixed media art creation, and it also tells us that art is not restricted to a single medium or technqiues. The possibilities of creation are beyond our imagination.