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Lesson Plans


RE: ART and SCIENCE

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bob Beeching (robprod)
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 14:11:52 -0700


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art and science go together.=20

Some students taking a course in Plane Geometry were displaying great =
difficulty understanding the significance of mathematical symbols and =
equations. Since they were already taking VISUAL ARTS I, I suggested to =
the math instructor that perhaps a more concrete visual approach to =
problem solving may be in order.

During the semester, I approached geometry from the aspect of physical =
construction. We began to interpret angles of incident in a purely =
tangible way. A college cohort, who had recently returned from a =
workshop with Buckminster Fuller displayed examples of what Fuller =
interpreted as tension structures, where students were required to =
produce a tension structure using only thin strips of wood and sewing =
thread to produce the required assignment.

In no time at all, students - by a process of trial-and-error, began to =
construct intricate structures where no two pieces of wood touched one =
another, and where the whole design was held together by tension alone. =
This proved to be a most significant model for these students to begin =
to comprehend the nature of Plane Geometry.

Not prepared to leave it at that, I proposed that, now that these =
students had learned something about basic construction techniques, they =
might want to consider the possibility of extending their knowledge =
further with a practical application. What resulted from this process of =
experimentation, was a kite design; in fact - a whole bevy of kites that =
students took to a playing field, and flew - to their hearts content.

In this contracted scenario, we are demonstrating that, when seemingly =
isolated variables are brought together, they often make a new whole =
object of design. Not only did these students gain a new perspective on =
the subject of geometry, they also gained knowledge in the area of =
industrial design. Too often, the teaching of subject matter is limited =
to one perspective that can result in misinformation, or no information =
at all, leaving students waiting for a better explanation. This does not =
have to be the case.

More to come.

__________________________________rb

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art and science go together…

Some students taking a course in Plane Geometry were = displaying great=20 difficulty understanding the significance of mathematical symbols and = equations.=20 Since they were already taking VISUAL ARTS I, I suggested to the math = instructor=20 that perhaps a more concrete visual approach to problem solving = may be in=20 order.

During the semester, I approached geometry from the aspect of = physical=20 construction. We began to interpret angles of incident in a = purely=20 tangible way. A college cohort, who had recently returned from a = workshop=20 with Buckminster Fuller displayed examples of what Fuller = interpreted as=20 tension structures, where students were required to produce a = tension=20 structure using only thin strips of wood and sewing thread to produce = the=20 required assignment.

In no time at all, students - by a process of trial-and-error, = began=20 to construct intricate structures where no two pieces of wood touched = one=20 another, and where the whole design was held together by tension = alone.=20 This proved to be a most significant model for these students to begin = to=20 comprehend the nature of Plane Geometry.

Not prepared to leave it at that, I proposed that, now that these = students=20 had learned something about basic construction techniques, they might = want to=20 consider the possibility of extending their knowledge further with a=20 practical application. What resulted from this process of=20 experimentation, was a kite design; in fact - a whole bevy of = kites that=20 students took to a playing field, and flew - to their hearts = content.

In this contracted scenario, we are demonstrating that, when = seemingly=20 isolated variables are brought together, they often make a = new=20 whole object of design. Not only did these students gain a new=20 perspective on the subject of geometry, they also gained knowledge in = the area=20 of industrial design. Too often, the teaching of subject matter is = limited to=20 one perspective that can result in misinformation, or no information at = all,=20 leaving students waiting for a better explanation. This does not have to = be the=20 case.

More to come…

__________________________________rb

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