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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Math & Science in the Art Classroom

Math & Science in the Art Classroom 

HOW I T WORKS
The two areas of focus for this program are studio and computer art. One studio class is devoted to three-dimensional fractal model building. This 3D branch is integrated through the computer component. Each student project is documented digitally and printed for exhibition. This subject is interdisciplinary, based on discussions of  mathematics and science. Much of the focus is on structural elements describing numeric values and algorithms in a visual sense. Students understand steps for computation and measurement in design through instruction and independent discovery. The teacher researches and makes instructional materials with Tinker Toy and Zome System model kits. For the studio art class, areas of study are:
centering a six-inch square on a page (cropping)  with the use of basic arithmetic algorithms; perspective drawing; architectural rendering; color circles (color theory); construction of regular polygons; study of the structure of numbers in nature and classical mathematics; construction of polyhedra; the five Platonic solids; art forms in nature; climbing plants and landscapes; and wildlife animals. The students gain a range of experience from subject matter to basic math skills as related to art assignments. Some concepts introduced were more advanced. Technical drawing skills include: measuring, computing for technical drawings, drawing to scale at an arm’s length, rendering, printing, hatching, cross-hatching, smoothing, rubbing transfers, and color coding palette. 

THE STUDENTS
Unity High School is part of the Manhattan Alternative Superintendency. It is an alternative high school serving educationally disadvantaged “at-risk” adolescents. 

THE STAFF
Clifford Singer has taught MQ1—MQ6 in the Manhattan high schools along with engineering and architectural drawing and applications in two-dimensional design. In 1992, while working in a private Special Education high school, he became Director of Mathematics and Science. He has been the Program Chair and Art Teacher at Unity High School and has continued his curriculum development. He has lectured in a number of international conferences and curated an exhibition of mathematical art at the Cooper Union, Albert Nerken School of Engineering, entitled Art & Mathematics 2000. 

WHAT YOU  NEED
The computer lab in room 412 at Unity High School is the main location for the computer art class. A lab equipped with a scanner, color printer, Paint program, and Photoshop is a good start. The books used for the class are Fractals For The Classroom, Part One and Part Two (Springer-Verlag) and Mathematical Quilts (Key Curriculum Press). There are various other teacher-selected resources for the class. Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haackel is a resource book for the class. 

OVERALL VALUE
The creative and effective use of mathematics, science, and technology along with integrated curriculum helps develop many skills for students. The result is similar to the way students abstract their understanding in music education. We find visual mathematics with colors relates in fascinating ways to music and the way students learn. This is of great value to students studying visual art.

 

CURRICULUM AREAS
Mathematics
Science
Art
Technology
Language Arts

GRADES
Grades 9-12

MORE INFORMATION

Clifford Singer
Unity High School
121 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 343 8038
cliffordhs@aol.com
 Principal:
Maritza Tamayo,

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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