They explain that the scientists of the future will need to use artistic means of communication that include “illustrating, animating, videography, cartooning, and model building” (Buczynski et al., 2012).
To show how art can be used to reinforce learning in science, they cite the results of their work with students at a college prep academy. Students were taught how to use fundamental art techniques as tools to aid their comprehension of science content.
Briefly, here are the conceptual art strategies Buczynski et al. (2012) used and how they used them:
- Depiction – Seventh-grade students were asked to apply their new knowledge about “scale, shadow and proportion” (Buczynski et al., 2012) to observe and draw the human body. This strategy was employed to move students away from the usual “stick figure”-type of thinking often observed in science lab notebooks.
- Projection – Students were asked to predict the outcome of a scientific event using hand-drawn images instead of words.
- Reformatting – Utilizing art forms from popular culture, students were asked to reformat scientific content into “a comic book, magazine, advertisement or film” (Buczynski et al., 2012).
- Mimicry – Students were assigned the task of becoming botanists by mimicking how botanists collect information in the field.
- Metaphor/Analogy – Students were asked to create a visual metaphor to describe how the digestive system works.