During the institute, my teaching focus was drawing-based science learning and assessment strategies. We started with basic drawing techniques. I walked participants through a toolkit development session which involved lots of practice drawing. Several of these techniques are discussed in previous newsletters and/or in my guide Sketching and Field Journal Basics.
We also discussed how to facilitate these techniques so that students have lots of informal low-stakes practice before they are formally assessed (the difference, say, between in-class practice and a test). Skill- and confidence-building like this is a critical part of engaging students in the benefits of drawing to learn.
We then applied these skills to observational drawings of cichlids (an extremely diverse group of fishes which includes tilapia). The cichlid specimens were provided by Dr. Katie Wagner, ecologist-in-residence for the institute. Dr. Wagner, along with Drs Dorothy Tuthill and Brian Barber, spent the week helping us all better understand descent-with-modification and other elements of the evolutionary process.
Ultimately, with the guidance of sculptor Adrian Vetter, participants sketched out plans, and sketched to document progress, as they made fish mobiles (based on cichlids) which demonstrated the principles of phylogenetic trees.
We’re doing some distance-learning elements of the institute throughout the rest of the month, and by then we should have a solid sense of how participants will use these practices in their own classrooms.
If you’re interested in how to facilitate any of these activities in your own educational setting, I’d love to chat and/or connect you with my co-instructors.
Reproducing or presenting an image in an artistic way can help you catch the attention of a wider or different-from-usual audience.
One such method is the packing tape sticker I mentioned in my October 2016 newsletter. If you want to create something more permanent, though, you might try solvent transfers.
I learned about this printmaking technique just last week, when my writing students, co-instructor, and I took a field trip to the University of Wyoming Art Museum’s studio classroom. Our field trip was part of an on-going multidisciplinary approach to “Communicating Across Topics in Energy” (the name of the course). See the Artful Classrooms section of the March 2017 newsletter for more information about how students are exploring the connection and communication potential of artworks and energy issues.
The spring equinox was just a few days ago, and my tulips noticed. While they’re not in full bloom yet, they are several inches tall!
My thesis is due at the end of this week, so I spent most of last month writing, revising, or going on health breaks (hiking with the pup). So, the March 2017 newsletter takes a look at projects I’ve just published, along with some other people’s work.
March Table of Contents
Insight: Photo-realistic drawing expectations can get in your way.
Sketching Tip: Handy portable drawing materials
Artful Science: Learning by drawing
Artful Classrooms: Students explore connections between art and energy issues
Happy not-quite-spring, dear readers!
Although we’re a long way from actual spring, the weather in my neck of the woods has been decidedly warm lately.
That means, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, roving the prairie with my pup, and, to be honest, writing more than drawing. Even so, the January/February 2017 newsletter focuses on winter (or what’s left of it), things you can do indoors, etc.
Jan/Feb Table of Contents
Sketching Tip: Sketching Snow
Artful Science: Tips for integrating drawing into university biology courses
Artful Classrooms: Winter Vocabulary
News & Events:
Webinar: Tips for working with an illustrator; 2/22
Poem published in Montana anthology
I’ve been elected chair-elect for ESA SciComm Section!