Puppets @ PSU: Teaching science through art


NWNOGGIN joined Sarah Morgan and her class of enthusiastic Art in the Elementary School students at Portland State University this week to discuss the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education and the power of art in education.


Joseph Cornell “Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery”

We talked about the capacity for art to make learning engaging, and personally relevant  –  a timely topic as Sarah and her students have been working on teaching other subjects (botany and environmental science in particular) through art. They’ve been thinking about concepts and approaches employed by artists like Andy Goldsworthy and Joseph Cornell, and how these could be used as inspiration for their own STEAM work…


During our visit, students created their own “nervous system puppets,” and invented creatures with nervous systems that could connect the brains of their creature to the unique sensory inputs, organs, and limbs required to help it move around and function.



We talked about how a project like this could be adapted for younger students, or made more complex for older students. For more information, please check out:  nervous system puppet


And of course we ended the day with a look at some actual human brains!

Excellent pictures by Jacob Schoen (NW Noggin volunteer from Portland State University)


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