-Story by School News Network–
Stephanie Cionca stood in front of a class of fifth-graders and set up an exercise aimed at figuring out how much water they would need to add to one cup of Plaster of Paris to get a perfectly pasty result. Then try to figure out if the reaction between the two ingredients is chemical or physical. “I thought we were in art,” said student Rohan Bennett. “That’s the point,” Cionca said. “We need to know math and science in art.”
At this school for fifth and sixth graders, art is taught with a STEAM perspective. In other words, students learn how science, technology, engineering and math are related to art (STEAM).
Stephanie Cionca’s fifth-graders are beginning a unit about chemical and physical change, and why understanding these concepts are important for various kinds of artists. Using Next Generation Science Standards and Michigan Art Standards as inspiration, they are conducting investigations that will determine whether they think a chemical or physical change occurred with their materials based on their observations.
Those conclusions will lead over the four-week unit to the creation of two works of art: a functional paper-mache bowl painted with a self-designed symbol, and a nonfunctional piece inspired by American artist Frank Stella. Cionca is the art teacher at Northern Trails 5/6 and Central Woodlands 5/6 schools.
To read more of the story and what the students learned about a chemical and physical reaction in art class, read the complete story on School News Network. School News Network is organized by the Kent Intermediate School District and covers events and news happening throughout the public schools in Kent County. SNN offers a window in our schools – a behind-the-scenes look – at the myriad ways the investment in public education is helping the community’s children grow, learn and achieve.