A Cold War Art Expedition Encourages Students to Value the Beauty in Patterns and Numbers

William Brown recently brought an abundance of color and creativity to a study on the Cold War.  He was in pursuit of integrating both visual and performing arts into his history lessons.  So he and some colleagues decided to host a Cold War Art Expedition.  He offered his students a chance to express their understanding of the Cold War with a blank canvas, paint tools and endless creativity.  Each painting had to include a numerical pattern, a Cold War connection and various uses of abstract painting techniques.

Prior to the paint and paintbrushes, the students took a field trip to the local Art Institution and explored various pieces of abstract art.  They also ventured out to study numbers and patterns within our universe at the Museum of Science and Industry.

In the video below, his students express a strong connection to their learning and feel that school should always be this fun!  The video ends reflecting on a quote by Tom Horne, “When you think about the purpose of education, there are three. We’re preparing kids for jobs.  We’re preparing them to be citizens.  And we’re teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty.  The third is as important as the other two.”

Brown’s ImagineIT project is all about appreciating the beauty within numbers and patterns.   He hopes this creative strategy will help in closing the academic achievement gap between students of low and high incomes.  Check out the colorful video below!