And now, the periodic table in oil paints
Alice's post about Brainiac reminded me of the scores of other kids' shows that specialise in make-based learning, by showing experiments, recipes or art projects of varying quality and educational value… (I should note that Brainiac claims the exact opposite, that we are not supposed to imitate their stunts.)
It got me thinking about a project I will teach at Reading in mid-November, which I am still working on, but which will broadly involve design for science instruction, for active learning. It will involve information design and book design, to create 'book-like objects' demonstrating scientific principles through experiment or activity.
Through thinking about the possibilities for this project, it occured to me that drawing is an under-developed resource in this genre. Why not use drawing, which requires re-iteration of knowledge, to teach? So many basic concepts in the sciences are inherently visual. Drawing, for example, a close-up of an animal cell, or a cross-section of the earth with layers, or an atom… this seems to have some potential, by involving readers through curiosity for the subject or a penchant for drawing. Similarly, it would be nice to see some of these TV shows bridge the gap between science and the use of 'art' in make-based learning: illustration, painting, and other media.