Art and Science throughout Italy: An Adventurous Journey

INTRODUCTION

The project was created as a PCTO (internship) project for third and fourth-grade students of our school (Scientific High School) from the challenge “Art & Science across Italy”, which is a European project of the CREATIONS network (H2020) organized by the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and CERN in Geneva to promote scientific culture among young people. It combines the languages of art and science: two knowledge tools that are among the highest expressions of human creativity.

The first objective of the project is to bring students closer to the world of science and research, regardless of their aptitude for science subjects, using art as the communication language.

The project is structured in successive steps with seminars in schools and universities, visits to museums and scientific laboratories, workshops held by experts from the world of science and art, and tutoring activities during the creation of artistic compositions. In particular, for each of the cities involved, the project is divided into a training and a creative phase, followed by a local exhibition and a final national selection that culminates in the Exhibition “A Journey in Science”, scheduled to take place at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples on May 2022.

SUMMARY

The activity is as an opening towards the teaching of civic education. It aims at connecting the projects present in the school into a unity in order to open paths of citizenship, service learning and dialogue with institutions and the territory, to create dynamics inside / outside the school in synergy with one’s environment and to develop critical awareness and sensitivity.

It should create connections with the Service-Learning projects already present in the schools, with some Institutions in the territory, with Schools of Peace, in harmony with the guidelines for the implementation of civic education. It aims at creating opportunities for awareness and ideation arising from the students: data analysis and their interpretation as a central element for teaching citizenship and the Constitution, scientific research and care of the other, individual responsibility in collective choices, interconnections of knowledge and enhancement of communication skills.

Students will learn the meaning of scientific dissemination and the involvement of the territory through art: starting from the concepts and phenomena they have freely analyzed and deepened, they will create concrete and / or multimedia artifacts, which are an expression of their living the link among science, art and society.

Marzia Grasso of the State High School Calini who ranked 4th in the creativity championship of the PCTO project of Art & Science Across Italy with the photograph entitled atom modELIOlo
Photograph of the 4N pupil Marzia Grasso of the State High School Calini who ranked 4th in the creativity championship of the PCTO project of Art & Science Across Italy with the photograph entitled atom modELIOlo and a score of 9.7 / 10. His shot represents the atom and in particular the helium atom, combining science and fashion.
In the photograph she created a complete outfit consisting of dress, shoes and hairstyle. At the same time, these elements correspond to the components of the atom: the skirt emphasizes the orbit in which the electrons move, the shoes, the hairstyle represents the nucleus formed by protons and neutrons created through the colored ribbons.

There is no stereotypical evaluation, but every student is taken into consideration, regardless of the result achieved. The process followed enhances him in his abilities in cooperative learning (the artistic artifact is produced in groups of three people) and in the use of different communication channels and different resources. Several teachers are involved in the evaluation. The student himself, by his self-evaluation, becomes aware of his own path and his own strengths and weaknesses.


The products created, the evaluation rubrics, the project cards, are part constituent of the training portfolio of each student. In these activities the collaboration of all the teaching staff is decisive for a successful project. Collaboration between colleagues and teamwork is the winning point, although it is not always easy.

Respecting spaces, times and ideas of others becomes an adventure. STEAM guarantees interdisciplinarity: it is a great resource, it surprises for the wonders it brings out from the students. Ideas and projects sketched, developed by several hands, with different styles, different intelligences, different expertise produce wonderful results.


Designing an artistic work is an open problem. It requires individual projects, creativity, skills about technology and a spirit of initiative.

The scientific themes connected to the artifact to be created are deliberately vast, complex, full of meaning, in order to involve the student in an inquiring based learning initiative, capable of leading him to discover himself (and not just acquiring new knowledge) inside of his learning path.

Video of the 4N pupil Daniele Bugatti of the State High School Calini who ranked 5th in the creativity championship of the PCTO project of Art & Science Across Italy with the photograph entitled If only it were all a game and a score of 9.6 / 10. In this video a Pandemic scenario is shown using a very simple model: every “turn”, all the new infected infect two people each, and therefore the number of infections doubles each time. Everything is represented through a stop-motion set among the greatest classics of boxed games, which recall the idea of ​​a turn-based model based on simple rules, like the one that describes the Pandemic.


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About vcavicchi

I'm Secondary school Maths and Physics teacher n Italy. I am Scientix Ambassador. Since 2016 I have been a tenured professor of Mathematics and Physics at the scientific high school. Since September 2019 I have been part of the MIUR Territorial Training Team for the Lombardy Region in Italy. After having obtained the scientific maturity at the State Scientific High School “A. Calini” of Brescia, I graduated in Mathematics, in physics-computer application address with a grade of 110/110. My strengths are the structuring and implementation of project based learning, problem based learning, service learning, flipped classroom and civic education, with particular reference to digital citizenship, in high schools. I wrote the book “History and didactics of Mathematics” published by Aracne Editrice in 2016, to help teachers in teaching Mathematics in lower and upper secondary schools. I hope I can share a lot projects and many adventures with Scientix community in the future.

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