What a glorious mix!

Of course, for my part, science wins hands down. 😀

A bunch of homeschooling students gathered at our local art gallery to meet with a microbiologist, and an artist, to explore the relationship between art and science.

Kaboom!

What an experience!

Mr Microbiologist gave us a brief, though fascinating history on magnification.  Truly, it was spellbinding.

A picture of an ant, at magnification high enough to create an image that was nightmare worthy, revealed a bump on its face.

Further magnification revealed that the bump was an ugly mite living on the face of the scary ant.

Magnified again showed bacteria living on the ugly mite who lived on the face of the scary ant.

Magnified again showed the above science-fiction-looking virus living on the bacteria, which lived on the ugly mite, which lived on the face of the scary ant.

Friends, I wish you could have seen the wonders of some of the slides we saw.

Then it was off to the art activities..

After donning lab coats (which were really to protect their clothes from pastels, but made them look very officious), the children examined images of highly magnified objects.  Who knew that a butterfly egg was spectacularly beautiful?  To see them with the naked eye, they are mere yellow/white little balls: magnified, they are beautiful works of art – just amazingly like a flower!

Each family group chose an image, and a overhead projector was used to project the image onto the wall.  The children were then able to trace the images, and encouraged to use creative licence to interpret them.

The girls chose an image of plankton. Blossy had to be content with paper and felts: they didn’t have lab coats small enough for wee ones!

After the art projects were explored, it was over the microscopes. The children were encouraged to bring in objects of interest, which for us were a butterfly specimen, some wool from a sheep shearing day, and a piece of molybdenum from a mine we visited last holiday.  There were many samples provided, and we could seriously have spent a week exploring.

There were cut to (petri dish) size  pieces of paper, and coloured pencils supplied for the children to record what they observed, in the interests of blending the art and science activities.

Pffft! Out of the thirty children present, not one of those kiddies was silly enough to waste time playing with pencils (which everyone has at home) when there was a good quality microscope and a huge selection of interesting things to peruse!

At the conclusion of the workshop we were given teaching notes, a list of resources, colouring pages, and a relative scale of the micro-world showing the units of measurement down to yoctometres, and accompanying images to illustrate what some of the measurements are used for.

It was a great activity, well organized, and thoroughly enjoyable.  Art is fun. Science is more fun. 😛

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