Posts Tagged art

STEM Tuesday– The Science of Art– Book List

 

 

 

Scientists follow a variety of paths as they engage in their work;  some of them may surprise you. Explore the intersection of art and science by looking at the titles below. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folding Tech: Using Origami and Nature to Revolutionize Technology by Karen Kenney

Origami, the ancient art of paper-folding is increasingly being used to stunning effects to solve some of the most pressing problems in the world today. This book takes a look at all those technologies that use folding – proteins, space probes, self-assembling robots, and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan and Micah Rauch

With a mix of invention, experimentation, and art, Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, gave the world a number of new insights into science, engineering, and much more. With STEM activities and questions to think about, this book encourages children to look at our world in a deeper and more connected way.

 

 

 

 

 

The Science of Fashion (Inquire & Investigate) by Julie Danneberg and  Michelle Simpson

Discover the science behind clothes! Be it sneakers or shirts, clothes and accessories need to be created and arrive on shelves for you to wear. Taking a look at the fashion industry and the science behind it is what this book is all about. Fun and interactive with hands-on projects for readers, you’ll think twice about your clothes after reading this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections of Everything by Richard Platt and Stephen Biesty

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to have x-ray vision? Wonder no more! Explore what your favorite things look like, and how they are made, by looking inside them. From a doughnut to a spacesuit, you’ll get a view that might surprise you. With the help of Chester the Tester, and his sidekick the Inspector, you’ll learn about how things are made and enjoy every minute.

 

 

 

 

Science Art and Drawing Games for Kids: 35+ Fun Art Projects to Build Amazing Science Skills by Karyn Tripp

If you want to discover how science and art intersect, this is the book for you! With more than 35 hands-on activities, there are plenty of projects to choose from that will give readers engaging insight into the world of science. From paintballs to mazes, this book proves that science can be fun – and artistic too!

 

 

 

 

Mimic Makers: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by Nature by Kristen Nordstrom and Paul Boston

Nature is the inspiration for many inventors; from engineers to designers. In this engaging book, you’ll meet ten scientists who use plants and animals as the starting point for creating new technology. It’s called biomimicry. What they’ve designed will inspire you to take a closer look at mother nature and perhaps invent something of your own.

 

 

My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook: 50 Awesome Drawing Activities for Young Inventors by Lisa Regan and Andrew Rae. 

If you like to invent, this is the book for you! With inspiration from actual inventions too crazy to be real, this book is designed to get your creativity in gear. There’s a lot to explore in this book, with page after page of ideas and innovations – once you read it you’ll be ready to invent something yourself! 

 

 

 

 

 

From Here to There: Inventions That Changes the Way the World Moves by Vivian Kirkfield and Gilbert Ford

Have you ever wondered where cars and rockets came from? Someone had to invent them. This book takes you back in time to when these everyday objects weren’t invented yet. You’ll meet the men and women who invented new ways to travel, discover what made them curious, and learn how what they created changed the world. 

 

 

 

 

Inside in: X-Rays of Nature's Hidden World - Schutten, Jan Paul

 

Inside In: X-Rays of Nature’s Hidden World by Jan Paul Schutten and Arie Van ‘t Riet

Who knew X-rays could be so jaw-droppingly beautiful! Using amazing X-ray photographs, this book shows us creatures and their natural habitats in unique ways. This book is a perfect blend of science and art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science

 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

A nonfiction biography of Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the first people to observe and document live insects, and one of the first to observe the life cycle of a butterfly, something we all know and take for granted now. The book has original illustrations by Maria Merian herself! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Summers can be found exploring and trying to identify any plants and animals she comes across. Visit her at her website: https://susan-inez-summers.weebly.com/

 

 

Shruthi Rao is at home among the trees. Her home on the web is https://shruthi-rao.com 

 

Celebrating Art Museums in Books

Did you know that today is National Go to an Art Museum Day—and more than 30,000 museums around the world are participating by holding special activities and offering discounts? No? Well then, it’s probably too late to call in sick or play hooky. But you can still celebrate vicariously by going to your library, bookstore, or favorite online site to pick up a great book about art museums. Here are a few suggestions:

 

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Okay, you had to know I’d include this classic novel if you’re a fan of this blog. In E.L. Konigsberg’s 1968 Newbery winner, Claudia Kincaid decides to run away with her little brother to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. After spending their days wandering around the museum and their nights hiding in odd exhibits, the two become involved in solving a museum mystery concerning an angel statue, thought to be carved by Michelangelo himself. After some sleuthing, they track down Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the woman who sold the statue to the museum. Will she help them solve the mystery? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

 

Framed by James Ponti

Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the first day of school or which Chinese restaurant has the best egg rolls. But when he attempts to teach the method to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery at the National Gallery of Art that involves the theft of three paintings. Will Florian’s skills help the FBI solve the crime and help him escape from the clutches of a dangerous crime syndicate?

 

The Art of the Swap by Kristine Asselin and Jen Malone

Hannah Jordan lives in a museum…well, sort of. She is the daughter of the caretaker for mansion-turned-museum The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island. Hannah is captivated by stories of The Elms’s original occupants, especially Maggie Dunlap, the tween heiress who was the subject of a painting that went missing during a legendary art heist in 1905. When a mysterious mirror allows Hannah and Maggie to switch places in time, suddenly Hannah is racing to stop the heist from happening, while Maggie gets an introduction to iPhones, soccer, and freedoms like exploring without supervision. Not to mention the best invention of all: sweatpants (so long, corsets!). As the hours tick away toward the art heist, something’s not adding up. Can the girls work together against time—and across it—to set things right? Or will their temporary swap become a permanent trade?

 

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne

Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them—that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston’s biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. Moxie has two weeks to find the art, otherwise she and the people she loves will be in big-time danger. Her tools? Her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff; her Alzheimer’s suffering grandfather, Grumps, who knows lots more than he lets on; and a geometry proof that she sets up to sort out the clues. It’s a race against the clock through downtown Boston as Moxie and Ollie break every rule she’s ever lived by to find the art and save her family.

 

The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four thirteen-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum’s collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on American soil. When Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt agree to help, they have no idea that the Kelmsbury is already working its magic on them. They begin to develop extraordinary powers and experience the feelings of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Lancelot: courage, friendship, love…and betrayal. Are they playing out a legend that’s already been lived, over and over, across the ages? Or can the Metropolitans forge their own story?

 

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

Almost everybody who has grown up in Chicago knows about the Thorne Rooms. Housed deep inside the Chicago Art Institute, they are a collection of sixty-eight exquisitely crafted miniature rooms. Each room is set in a different historic period, and every detail is perfect. Some might even say, the rooms are magic. But what if on a field trip, you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you could sneak inside and explore the secrets of the rooms? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind? Eleven-year-olds Jack and Ruthie are about to find out!

 

Behind the Museum Door: Poems to Celebrate the Wonders of Museums by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Stacey Dressen-McQueen

Fourteen poems on the many dazzling collections featured in museums. The art, artifacts, and anthropological treasures found in museum collections are coupled with stunning poetry by acclaimed writers Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jane Yolen, Myra Cohn Livingston, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and many more. The lively verse captures the wonder and amazement of the exhibition experience, from mummies to medieval relics, and from fine art to fossils.

 

 

Life and Art and Patterns and Mess

I read an article I read on the Publishers Weekly website called “Why Life and Writing are Inseparable” by Amie Barrodale, and I wanted to share some thoughts.

The thing that struck me first and drew me in was that the article opens with a discussion of writing, drops a rambling sentence of personal bombshells into the narrative, and then picks up the writing topic again without missing a beat. The result is jarringly familiar to anyone who has ever tried to combine life and writing, or life and illustrating, or life and any other creative endeavor. And especially so as I write this toward the end of a school year, which combines the chaos of life with the artistry of teaching.

Barrodale conveys the life/art balance through the structure of her story more effectively than if she’d used words alone, and at the same time establishes the importance of structure and subtext in her writing.

The article goes on to describe Barrodale’s early writing as having a focus on craft, until she found herself shifting to stories from her own life for the larger part of her career. We then find ourselves shifting from this brief focus on craft to a story from Barrodale’s life that takes up most of the remaining bulk of the piece.

And once again, in an entirely different way, I was struck by the author’s remarkable use of structure to support her theme. Much like concrete poetry, in which a poem about a fish might be shaped like a fish, Barrodale’s story about her life was actually shaped like her life—and can there be any better way to show the inseparability of life and creativity?

The story part of the article tells of Barrodale’s experiences carrying bowls around a Tibetan cave during a meditation retreat. She focuses on rules and norms, and how it felt to be in disagreement or conflict with other practitioners of the bowl-carrying arts.

via GIPHY

Like most readers of the article, I’ve never been on a meditation retreat to a Tibetan cave, so I have no personal stake in the theory or politics Barrodale is describing. Readers can approach this story without the baggage we’d bring to a similar story about writing, or illustrating, or whatever creative endeavor we’re most experienced with and passionate about.

Which seems to be entirely the point.

A story about bowl-carrying techniques among cave-dwelling meditation practitioners can serve as an effective metaphor for any artists fumbling in the dark with the traditions and strictures of their craft. So what seems at first to be a tangent away from writing actually becomes the meat of Barrodale’s thesis about writing. Yet again, she uses structure rather than words to support the idea that writing and life are inseparable.

I thought the resulting essay was by far the most carefully, deliberately, and effectively structured article I’d ever read. But as a counterpoint, an irate reader in the comments section berated the author, editor, and publisher alike for releasing what she saw as an entirely unstructured article that “reads like someone journaling.”

Althrough we read all the same words, we read two very different articles.

From my perspective, the comment writer missed the most important aspects of the piece, as if looking at a fish-shaped poem and seeing only a random jumble of words. And from her perspective, she might say that I imposed an imagined structure on the article where none was actually intended.

Where I saw a pattern, the comment writer saw a mess.

Thinking about how the same article can be read and interpreted so differently by different people revealed the final puzzle piece in my quest to understand the connection between life and art.

Life is messy, but human beings are wired to extract patterns of meaning and importance from that mess. As creators, we seed our work with those same patterns and hope for the best. When a pattern resonates with a reader’s messy life experience, it feels true and a powerful connection is made. But a reader who does not connect with that pattern, no matter how artfully arranged, will only see the mess.

We may think we’re building stories with characters and plot, lines and color, structure and theme, but on the most basic level it’s all just patterns and mess.

Just like life.