The Picturing to Learn project helps undergraduate students learn science by illustrating the science to high schoolers.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Kara Culligan and Eunji Chung, Harvard University; Lina Garcia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Picture This: Explaining Science Through Drawings
News story originally written on April 28, 2008
Could you explain chemical processes like photodissociation with a drawing? How about bonding in molecules or quantum physics? Thatís what students at several colleges have been doing.
They are not just doodling in their notebooks. Their drawings are part of Picturing to Learn, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. And their artwork is helping high school students learn science concepts through pictures.
To draw pictures that explain scientific concepts and processes, they have to really understand the science. It takes a different kind of thought process. Larger concepts are broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. All this helps them better understand how the science works as they make the pictures. This projectís artists are college students taking physics, biology, and chemistry classes at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, Roxbury Community College, and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
"Visually explaining concepts can be a powerful learning tool," says Felice Frankel, one of the projectís leads at Harvard University. "The other important part of this is that the teacher immediately identifies student misconceptions."
Many of the drawings bring scientific concepts to life in interesting new ways. Students are encouraged to be creative and to consider a variety of formats, including cartoons and stick figures. Workshops are also getting science and art students working together to take their pictures of scientific phenomena to the next level.
Last modified April 28, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.
You might also be interested in:
Photons are tiny bits of light and other kinds of electromagnetic radiation. Photons can sometimes break apart molecules. When this happens, it is called photodissociation. When a photon runs into a molecule,...more
Most things around us are made of groups of atoms bonded together into packages called molecules. The atoms in a molecule are held together because they share or exchange electrons. Molecules are made...more
Atoms and the tiny particles from which they are made strongly influence the world around us. The fields of atomic physics and particle physics help us understand the life cycles of stars, the forms of...more
Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. "The data will help give us a better road map to what a future...more
The Earth's mantle is a rocky, solid shell that is between the Earth's crust and the outer core, and makes up about 84 percent of the Earth's volume. The mantle is made up of many distinct portions or...more
Some geologic faults that appear strong and stable, slip and slide like weak faults, causing earthquakes. Scientists have been looking at one of these faults in a new way to figure out why. In theory,...more
The sun goes through cycles that last approximately 11 years. These solar cycle include phases with more magnetic activity, sunspots, and solar flares. They also include phases with less activity. The...more