Hello! I’m Heather Martinson, founder of Celebration Education, where we inspire creativity, which leads to endless possibilities. Today I want to dive into our philosophy and practice that emphasizes the harmony between art and science, and how our teaching approach brings both to the forefront in the lives of our students, through some stories of a week from the 2017-2018 school year.
The Adventure of Learning: War Machines and Creativity
During our Leonardo da Vinci year in 2017-2018, we embarked on a thrilling adventure in our classes one week where the children explored war machines and creative inventions. Starting with hands-on crafting of boffers (small foam swords made with PVC pipes, pull noodles, and duct tape), the children engaged with art and mechanics in a tangible way.
We touched on key points of war machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci and their modern counterparts, allowing the children to see the blend of art and science throughout history. Reading Dr. Seuss’s “Butter Battle Book” inspired lively discussions about conflict and peace, culminating in the students writing their own peace agreements.
Math, Logic, and Creative Thinking
Creativity also found its way into our math and logic activities. The children were engaged with mental math exercises and the exploration of Greg Tang Math, seeing math in new, artistic ways.
Our lessons were so engaging that everyone from the first to sixth grade remained immersed throughout the process. It was heartwarming to see their enthusiasm and excitement in learning.
Building and Listening: A Balance of Art and Science
The fun continued with the design and creation of catapults. These activities were not just about competition; they were lessons in listening and empathy as well. Five minutes of silence allowed the children to practice listening, an essential skill that contributes to better understanding and less disagreement.
A Challenge to Parents: Embrace Art and Science
One of our key messages for that school year was the balance of art and science. Too often, children are discouraged from pursuing the arts because it seems “unrealistic.” But more and more evidence supports that experience in the arts contributes to intelligence, creativity, and academic success.
I encourage parents not to view art as a mere pipe dream or something less important than traditional academic subjects. Art has its own value and can inspire a unique genius in your children. Even those who do not become professional artists benefit greatly from nurturing their creativity.
Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist and Scientist
Leonardo da Vinci once said that we should understand the science of art and the art of science. To him, they were the same. Creativity is going to be valued higher than knowledge and degrees in the future. By pitting science against art, we miss the infinite potential they create together, like two sides of a Mobius strip.
Your Call to Adventure: Prioritize Creativity
I challenge you to encourage your children in their creative endeavors and make it as vital, if not more so, than their academic pursuits. Share your experiences, and let’s celebrate the union of art and science in education. Let’s help our children discover their unique paths, blending creativity, academics, and innovation.
At Celebration Education, where we’ve been learning outside the box since 2006, we believe that the blend of art and science will prepare our students for the future. Join us in embracing this philosophy, and let’s celebrate the joy of learning together.
Until next time, keep up the great work!