My exemplar painting, Ultra Violet Ray
Transcription Translation Poster
Helped the students use metaphors for biological ideas.
High Tech High - DermTech Buy the Book
When I told my semi-retired pathologist father that I was collaborating with a biology teacher, he got really excited (as only a scientist would) and told me he was working with a new company called DermTech that’s developed a new test for Melanoma --and has no art on the walls.
He went on to say that if my students studied the etiology, pathogenesis, inheritance, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma, they would learn all they needed about 11th grade biology. I was hooked (or caught!) and presented the idea to my teaching partner.
With the assistance of the DermTech molecular biology team, our students began to study the diagnosis, testing, prevention and treatment of Melanoma and transformed that knowledge into paintings that tell the story of growth, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Working with my biologist partner and my pathologist father, we introduced the students to the project: What is melanoma and how is Dermtech changing the diagnosis standards. Pairs of students competed for their choice of subject that they would be illustrating. This invested the pairs in their subject, as they had to research and present to their peers. With the guidance of the DermTech scientists and other healthcare professionals, the students learned the science to create the plan and the metaphor for their painting. The pairs of students learned to divide responsibilities and leverage each others’ strengths through this real-world workplace experience.
All I had to do was get the students to make great artwork about a subject they and I were still learning about: No problem.
Student's Paintings and Descriptions
Painting Cast Toys
This assignment was a way for the students to learn by making. They had to take an image of a Cast Iron Toy from the internet and make a two dimensional plan and a cut out painting to turn what could be just an exercise in to art.
I chose cast iron toys because of Charles Eames' movie Toscana For Toy Trains. He said, "An old toy that has a direct and unembarrassed manner that gives us a special kind of pleasure is different from the admiration we may feel for the perfect copy of the real thing. It is possible that somewhere in all this is a clue to what sets the creative climate of our time." Eames 1958