Congratulations to the three Dallin students who have been honored in the Cool Science Annual Art Competition on Extreme Weather, a program funded by the National Science Foundation Awards. This competition, now in its 12th year, brings art and science together to create a new way of understanding and communicating climate change issues. After learning about extreme weather, students who wished to enter the contest created and submitted posters to be considered for display in public transportation vehicles.
After being alerted to the program, Dallin Visual Art teacher Stacie Greenland took remote classes with UMASS Boston and Mass College of Art faculty that prepared her to teach her third grade ACE block art students about extreme weather science art. The smaller size of the ACE groups were ideal for the 10 week curriculum as the class sizes were smaller. It proved to be the ideal time to try science experiments and delve into science-related art. This is the second year she has used the program.
The curriculum focused on floods and flood safety and the classes did flood experiments to brainstorm what kinds of natural barriers can prevent or redirect flood waters. They also studied other kinds of extreme weather such as blizzards and thunderstorms. Students worked on the science experiments in groups or individually, but worked alone on their poster ideas. Part of the process included entries into science journals about the things the students observed or learned, something Ms. Greenland said they enjoyed..
Participation in the contest was voluntary and the third grade students who chose to be involved worked hard to get their submissions ready. They created accordion books full of their drawings, notes, and sketches, and stuck with it through design revisions. The work was done in class. All the preliminary work was submitted along with the final posters. Interested fourth grade students also submitted entries that they completed at home.
Dallin third grade student Nick Santospago is an elementary winner in the Massachusetts Worcester division for this poster that informs people about how they should understand their flood risk.
Two fourth grade students were Innovative Idea Runner-ups. Olivia Lai was inspired by Greek Mythology as she explored energy conversion to come up with this poster.
Etta Perkins was inspired to create this poster by the fact that hover buses can operate on both land and water, making transportation available in all kinds of weather.
The winning posters were on display at the Dallin Art Show held on June 1. Additionally, there will be a celebration at UMASS in July for all the winners and runner-ups, and there will be a bus on hand with all the art in place. A Cool Science art exhibition and celebration will be held at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts in July.
Ms. Greenland expects that the students will be notified when their posters are actually placed on public transport buses. She observed that the students could relate the lessons on extreme weather to their own life experiences around weather and climate, making them eager to learn. They were also happy to discover that scientists can be artists too!