Classroom Highlights: Using Art to Explore Scientific Principles

The 8th-grade science curriculum includes the study of heat transfer and thermal energy. In October students studied how artists apply these concepts to create visual effects. Students began by examining works by Dale Chihuly, and American glass sculptor, and then worked in the studio as both artists and scientists to create glass art with beaded designs on their surfaces that they placed in a kiln and heated in a microwave. The kiln molecules absorbed the microwaves, heating the kiln and melting the glass on the kiln via conduction. Thereby, the beads melted into the glass, creating one-of-a-kind art!

In addition to the hands-on experiment in the lab, students explored beyond the classroom through Virtual Reality technology. In this immersive, 3-D digital experience, students toured a Chihuly art exhibition, allowing them to feel like they were seeing Chihuly's glass works of art in person.