Last month, we had the opportunity to teach a class of students at Riverdale High School
in Portland, Oregon about basic arthropod morphology. The students were working on a project that blended art and science using arthropods. They had a choice between two different tasks: use oil pastels to draw an insect feature (as seen through the microscope), or create an anthropomorphic personification of an arthropod with pen and India ink.
The students learned about microscopy and research methods, including important aspects of digital literacy (finding and properly citing primary sources and reliable information on the web). They also studied several drawing techniques to create their artwork, such as blending, scraping, overlay, cross-hatching, stippling, stenciling, cartooning, underpainting, layering, and impasto. Below, we've shared six finished pieces and hope you enjoy them. We'll forward any comments to the students, so feel free to let them know what you think!
One of the reasons we love combinging art and science is because we both have artistic backgrounds. In an effort to appeal to people with varied interests, we use visual arts in our videos and teach in a theatrical way. So, naturally, we jump at projects like these and really enjoy helping young people foster a respect for both disciplines.