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Calvert Elementary

Dates: October-November 2019

Teacher: Amy Allerheilegen

Teaching Artist: Doug Golick

Grade/s: 5th

Residency Description: The teaching artist was a UNL Entomologist who explored the intersections between art and science with the students. There were two prongs to the residency:

1.      The scientific method broadly. Students discovered that the creative process is not unlike the scientific process. There is exploration and discovery, and processes are modified in process as needed. An unexpected result is not an error but an opportunity to discover and learn.

2.      Specific techniques and concepts. Students used art as demonstrations and proof of concepts and effects, including acid and base reactions, capillary action, and solution repellence and attraction.

Art was used to teach a core subject: science. What also made this residency unique and special was that this was the third year that these same students have been involved with upstArt. In other words, they are our first longitudinal sample. As 3rd graders the students explored the concept of identity with Christian Scott. As 4th graders they expanded that outlook to include their communities with artist Owen Buffington. Finally, this year they expanded their view yet further, to include the entire natural world around them.

Here what art teacher Amy Allerheiligen had to say about the residency: “When presented with the idea for this residency, I was a bit hesitant at first. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t sure how integrating art and science was going to appeal to my students or how I would approach teaching both subjects together. However, looking back now, I believe that this was the best residency that my students experienced over their three years of having a visiting artist. I feel very blessed to have had the support from Dr. Doug Golick (UNL), the Lincoln Arts Council and LPS colleagues for this experience.

And a reflection from teaching artist Doug Golick:Having the 18 or so visits afforded enough time for me to get to know the kids, understand how Amy teaches and manages her class, and allowed trust to grow between everyone. In the last few visits, I really felt comfortable working with the kids, believe the kids were responding well to me, and felt like there was mutual respect between each of us. A long-term residency like this is critical to making a lasting impact on students. Time is needed to build trust. It is not just about getting enough exposure to the science concepts. It was really cool having the kids say, “Hi Dr. Doug!” when walking through the halls of Calvert. You know that you are making an emotional impact on the kids when this happens.