During this trimester, my students were exposed to a variety of art concepts during their science lessons. Students in STEM composed their own music while connecting programming, music, and art to create a pencil-drawing piano. While learning about fossils in October, students in Science II and Science III were able to create their own amber fossil art piece which solidified that knowledge and allowed them to have hands on application of that concept. In November, students were dissecting fish provided by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Burns-Paiute Tribe, while simultaneously learning about the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, gyotaku. Lastly, in December students created their own lab safety skits to present to their classmates using drama standards.
After being somewhat reluctant to implement art standards in science class, I am now convinced that merging disciplines is helping students understand science and make relevant connections to the real world. For example, while creating their pencil-drawing pianos, STEM students kept saying things like “Hey, we’re learning these same music notes in band class” or “I remember learning this in 4th grade, it’s cool that we get to use it when we’re coding.” Also, after doing our amber fossil art project and asking students to write a blog post describing the types of fossils they learned, 100% of students did not have misconceptions about the amber fossil and could provide a real-world example of how they are formed. While dissecting their fish and completing their gyotaku art paintings, students kept saying “This would be a great way to show my parents what I caught!” When students are able to relate what they’re learning in class across disciplines, and to their actual lives, learning is solidified and remembered. I strongly believe that implementing art standards into science lessons is very beneficial despite how difficult it can sometimes be to create the lessons.