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Teachers at Cleveland Court Elementary believe art and science are not separate topics. The faculty makes it a habit of regularly integrating art into their STEM programs. Art Teacher Ken Groff explains, “Art is interrelated. By weaving science with art we can use real world activities to not only teach students about technology, but also teach them to see beyond what lies on the surface. I regularly create my curriculum around what the students are learning in their science classes. For example, I recently had my students create airplanes. I tied it in with Sun ‘n Fun. The lesson during that art class was about symmetry.” In short, both art and science require the use of observational skills, curiosity and constant experimentation with colors, textures, shapes and forms.
The merging of artistic process and scientific progress was most evident when 1st graders recently helped create a garden size sundial. The second graders calibrated the large sundial. Each first grader then created their own sundial out of clay and used this to observe the movement of the earth and the change of the earth’s position from Summer to Winter.
4th graders were treated to a special archeological dig. Before the excavation started, teachers buried prehistoric artifacts in the garden area. Some surprise discoveries included: Dugong bone, prehistoric horse teeth, stingray mouth plates, prehistoric shells, an assortment of bone fragments, the skeleton of a giant armadillo and more.
Students were instructed to collect, clean and study the items they found. The students then documented the items recording them in their field journals and classifying them accordingly.