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2017 Science In the Arts Challenge

Science and art are everywhere, and the interdependence of the subjects is undeniable. The Science in the Arts Challenge has been created to encourage high school students to consider, research, and present information about relationships between the two seemingly different subjects. This year’s Science in the Arts Challenge will be at the Charleston Civic Center during the West Virginia Social Studies Fair on Friday, April 21, 2017.

High school students may submit an entry for a visual arts product which they have created to represent Science in the Arts. Students must create a two- to three-minute video presentation that shows a timeline or tell the story of the artwork being created. In the video, the student should explain why the piece was selected to represent Science in the Arts, what the piece means to the student personally, and how science was used to create the art or the materials used to create the artwork; see the 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge Rules and 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge Rubric. The video must include the student creating the visual artwork and the student explaining the science process used to create an artwork and/or demonstrating an understanding the science of the materials used to create the artwork.

The winner of the 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge will be invited to exhibit their work at the Clay Center in Charleston during the Arts Alive! event on Friday, April 28, 2017.

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 forces (balance or center of gravity) which keeps the piece from falling over.
  • A photograph may be submitted, and the student might explain the science of developing photographs, the optics associated with the lenses, or how the light impacts photography.
  • A piece of pottery may be submitted, and the student might demonstrate an understanding of 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 of the materials used to create the paint or the canvas or material on which it is painted.

In each of the examples, 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 Challenge, because it would not address the science of the processes used to create the artwork or the science of the materials used to create the artwork.

Students are strongly encouraged to use the 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge 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 during the video or presentation at the Civic Center. Teachers are encouraged to assist students in using the rubric. If you have questions about the rubric, please contact WVDE Science Coordinator, Robin Sizemore at robin.sizemore@k12.wv.us.

The rubric has four categories:

  1. The Video - How well does the student use the video to convey a message and meet the criteria of the rubric?
  2. The Artwork - The focus is on the technique, craftsmanship, originality, and expression of the artwork.
  3. Communicating About the Art - How well does the student explain elements of art and principles of design and express what the art means to him or her?
  4. The Science - How well does the student demonstrate an understanding of the science processes or materials used to create the work of art?

For video examples of past Science in the Arts Challenge winners, see Science the Arts: Fused Glass, Science in the Arts DNA, Hidden Attraction: Ferrofluid and Paint.

An online application must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017.

The winner will be announced prior to the awards presentation of the WV Social Studies Fair.

The 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge Rubric will be used to score the visual arts piece, science information, and video presentation. A total of 96 points may be earned on the rubric and a minimum of 67 points must be earned for a participant to be awarded first place.

A $200 prize will be awarded to the student who wins the 2017 Science in the Arts Challenge. The art teacher and the science teacher of the winning student will each receive a $100 prize to be used to purchase supplies for their classrooms. An online application must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017.

If you have questions about Science In the Arts Challenge submissions, please contact WVDE Science Coordinator Robin Sizemore at robin.sizemore@k12.wv.us or Art Coordinator Dr. Raymond Lowther at ray.lowther@k12.wv.us.

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