Calling all “Cool Climate Mamas and Papas” in Massachusetts. Are some of the kids in your life wanna be artists? Let them know about this unique opportunity to have their art work and ideas on climate change visible for all to see. They will think you are “pretty cool” for sharing!
In this guest post on Cool Science by our friend David Lustick with the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Graduate School of Education, you will find out more about what’s involved and how Cool Science works. We think this is a great idea and would love to help Cool Science spread throughout the US and beyond! So follow Cool Science on Twitter and Facebook – even if you aren’t from Massachusetts – and watch it grow…We need to listen, watch and learn from our children – how do they see climate change? Together we CAN and Will create and ensure a sustainable future for us all.
By David Lustick
Cool Science provides an opportunity to K-12 students to learn the science of climate change and express their understanding through the visual arts. Cool Science hosts a climate change art competition for K-12 students throughout the state of Massachusetts. Using the visual arts as a medium, Cool Science engages teachers, parents, and students in climate change science. Then, by displaying the winning student artwork on mass transit, we help the riding public learn about the climate. Using children’s artwork to communicate complex scientific issues such as climate change is a powerful learning experience for the artist, teacher, and the audience.
Last year, Cool Science received nearly 600 entries from students representing 36 teachers from 32 school districts. Six winning entries went on public display with one being highlighted each month from January through June. We also had 6 Runner Ups and 12 Honorable Mentions. See all this artwork at our website (www.coolscience.net). More than 5,000 riders a day could see these amazing works of art. For the winning students, it is an unforgettable experience to see the nine-foot version of their artwork traveling around the streets on the side of a bus!
We think that non-traditional science learners need more diverse ways to express their understanding of scientific concepts. An emphasis on tests and lab reports often overwhelms any love of science a student may have. For these students, art is a welcome addition to the science curriculum. It is important for all students to see themselves as successful science learners. If art can help achieve this goal, than all the more reason to use it.
To extend the life of Cool Science beyond the life of our funding grant, the research team is actively developing strategies to create a sustainable financial model with the goal of making Cool Science an annual event. Check out our Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign for more details.
Our goal is to offer Cool Science to students across the country and display the winners’ artwork throughout their local regional transit authorities.