What do you get when you combine science, art and mathematics? At Graland, the answer is a cross-departmental unit that challenges and engages students in creative learning.
In March, middle schoolers were given time to explore these subjects in exciting and collaborative ways at a Math/Art/Science Day in the Corkins Center.
“Our goal was to create intriguing activities that give students opportunities to see how math, art and science are intertwined, since the solution to most modern problems will involve more than one discipline,” shares Nanette Newman, learning specialist and project coordinator.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, students took on challenges like building an arched bridge that explored concepts of engineering, force and design. Using 18 sticks and nothing else, they set to work mimicking da Vinci’s design and then used math to calculate the efficiency of their bridges. After completing the bridge, Mia Sanchez (8) said, “That was the most satisfying thing I’ve done in my whole life.”
In the Gates Lab, they worked on understanding the science behind mixing acrylic paint, silicone, water and Floetrol, a latex paint additive. Using information about density and polarity, they hypothesized how the molecules would interact and then observed the reaction on ceramic tile. Kinetic sculpture, circuit drawings, string art and glow stick photography were a few more of the 25 activities designed by math, art and science teachers at Graland.
Since December, students have also been working across departments on a whole school art installation on campus this spring. The inspiration for this project is Louise Nevelson, an artist who creates sculptures from reclaimed materials. Each student was asked to bring in a few visually interesting items from home that were slated to be discarded or donated. In art class, they arranged the items into a collage and, like Nevelson, turned the piece into monochromatic art.
Math lessons will range from counting and estimating the items (Lower School) to using statistics to analyze and interpret data (Middle School). Related lessons on the zero waste concept will have students exploring thermodynamics, energy and resource conservation as well as the ethics of consumerism.
It’s easy to see why students love learning how to learn at Graland!
Equipped with a bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate in communication, Mimi handles communications initiatives and strategy, working closely with the development office, admission office and Graland Parent Association to provide professional guidance and support. She is also responsible for producing all the school’s publications, such as Graland Today.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.