Science in the Arts Competition

Science and art are everywhere, and the interdependence of the subjects is undeniable. The Science in the Arts competition has been created to encourage high school students to consider, research, and present information about relationships between the two seemingly different subjects. What better place to bring attention to this competition than the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia?  What better background than the West Virginia Department of Education Arts Alive! showcase?


High school students may submit an entry for a visual arts product which they have created to represent Science in the Arts. The submitted piece must be an example of the student using and explaining the science process used to create an artwork or the student demonstrating an understanding the science of the materials used to create the artwork. The student must create a three to four minute video presentation which he or she will use to explain why the piece was selected to represent Science in the Arts, what the piece means to the student personally, and the science of the process used to create the art or the science of the materials used to create the artwork; see Science in the Arts Rubric.


Examples of acceptable entries include but are not limited to:

• A piece of welded artwork may be submitted, and the student might explain the science of the welding process or the physics of balance which keeps the piece from falling over.
• A photograph may be submitted, and the student might explain the science of developing photographs or how the science of light impacts photography.
• A piece of pottery may be submitted, and the student might demonstrate the science behind earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain, the geology of the material’s place of origin, or the science of the glazing process.
• A painting may be submitted, and the student might explain the science behind the materials used to create the painting or the canvas or material on which it is painted.


In each of the examples above, the student would explain the science of the processes used to create the artwork or the science of the materials used to create the artwork.  A painting of flowers and an explanation of the photosynthesis process would not be an example of an appropriate entry for the Science in the Arts Competition at this time. Likewise, a painting of a person welding and an explanation of the welding process or a drawing of airplanes and an explanation of an airfoil would not be examples of appropriate entries either. If those explanations provided science information about the materials used to create the painting or drawing, the entries would be acceptable.


Videos must be uploaded and students must register using the information and links provided at http://wvde.state.wv.us/arts-alive/ by the deadline listed on that webpage. Student’s names and their school’s name must be clearly spoken within the first thirty (30) seconds on the videos.


Artwork will be scored on three criteria- the quality of the piece of art, student’s understanding and explanation of the science used to create the artwork, the use of the video to meet the criteria of the competition, seeScience in the Arts Rubric.  Students are strongly encouraged to use the rubric as they decide what artwork to enter, how to research the science of the artwork, and what to include in their video.  Judges may only award points if a criterion for a category is represented in the artwork or video. Teachers are encouraged to assist students in using the rubric. If you have questions about the rubric, please contact Robin Sizemore at robin.sizemore@access.k12.wv.us.


• In Phase 1 of the competition will consist of a video and science evaluation as it relates to the visual art work.

o In the Video: Art section, the student uses the video to effectively and creatively provide evidence of the creation of the art work and an explanation of why the artwork was selected to represent Science in the Arts.
o In the Video: Science section, the student uses the video to provide information about the science processes or the science of the materials used to create the artwork.

• Following the completion of Phase 1, finalists are contacted and artworks must be presented to the Clay Center in Charleston, West Virginia for artwork to advance to Phase 2 of the contest. During Phase 2, the originality and craftsmanship of the artwork will be evaluated.


Points are cumulative and the winner will be determined by the points earned in all the sections of the rubric.


The top ten entries will progress to the final phase of the evaluation process; the finalists will be contacted. The ten finalists must have their artwork delivered to the Clay Center in order to have their work considered for the grand prize. Artwork for the finalists will be displayed at the Clay Center during the Arts Alive! program. Videos for the ten final entries will be shown before and/or during the Arts Alive! program. Students are responsible for collecting their artwork after the show.


The Grand Prize for Science in the Arts is $200.  A total of 45 points may be earned on the rubric and a minimum of 36 points must be earned for a participant to be awarded first place.  The Science in the Arts Rubric will be used to score the visual arts piece, science information, and video presentation.


For video examples of past Science in the Arts winners see Science the Arts: Fused Glass and Science in the Arts DNA. More information about application due dates, the Arts Alive date, and the rubric are available at http://wvde.state.wv.us/arts-alive/. If you have questions about the competition, please contact WVDE Science Coordinator, Robin Sizemore at robin.sizemore@access.k12.wv.us or Art Coordinator, Dr. Christi Camper Moore at ccamper@access.k12.wv.us.

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