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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: A Science Teacher’s Art Challenge

“If you draw something, I will add to it.” The red pen never felt so good.

“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.” –Oscar Wilde

What is it that compels us, when given a pencil, paper, and we’re captive in a classroom, to create a drawing from scratch? I know I was a doodler in school, and I still can’t help myself if I find myself in a boring meeting or seminar as an adult. Have a listen to the delightful song of Walter the Orange Ocean sing about what it means to care, Someone Who Loves You,

while you consider the simple challenge an 8th and 9th grade teacher in Thailand made to their students on the papers they turned in: “If you draw something, I will add to it.”

It exists as a blog on Tumblr called Grading Thaime!, and here’s how it came to be:

I was an 8th-9th grade science teacher at an all girls Thai school in Bangkok, and I established a rule with my students: If you draw something, I will add to it.

They drew, I added, and this is the original album of drawings I posted.

There’s a huge disparity in both how well the students perform (and whether they get a “reward” drawing) from one another, as you’d expect from a teacher…

as well as, perhaps consequently, how much time a student has to work on their drawing. After all, it’s pretty difficult to have the time to put together a real work of art if you’re strapped for time!

Still, many of this teacher’s students managed to put together some truly excellent efforts, and the response has really been to not only help make the art better, but to take it in a different direction from what the student originally intended!

There’s also an imgur page that has even more of these, and they’re absolutely fabulous!

And even though it might seem like this is a “defacement” of sorts, do keep in mind that this is one encouraging teacher when you get right down to it!

Known only as Squeezymo on Imgur and Tumblr, this fabulous and insidious way to bring more art into the classroom came onto my radar via Sara Barnes of My Modern Met.

But with all that said, this drawing, I think, is my favorite of the set.

Go check them all out, and I hope you’ve enjoyed our first weekend diversion of the new year! More wonders of the Universe coming up tomorrow, but if you can’t wait, go check out our Comments of the Week, and the links and responses inside.

Leave your comments at the Starts With A Bang forum on Scienceblogs!


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