Enhancing Learning Skills, Strengthening the Workforce
The Art of Science Learning project at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago sparks innovation and creativity in education and the workplace by integrating arts-infused learning methods. MSI is one of only three Incubators for Innovation nationwide in this National Science Foundation-funded project that aims to change how people think about science education.
Over the course of 2014, a diverse group of scientists, artists, educators, students and community leaders explored innovation, creativity and collaboration skills in 12 workshop sessions. They learned from nationally recognized experts, then formed teams to come up with solutions to the challenge of urban nutrition. Their projects were showcased at a launch event in January 2015.
Participants came from Argonne National Laboratory, Columbia College, Chicago Public Schools, University of Illinois at Chicago and the National Museum of Mexican Art, among others. Their projects are described below.
Crunch Time: Teen Cuisine
This healthy cooking television/web show features short videos created and produced by teenagers in partnership with Chicago’s community of video production resources. A peer-reviewed video contest, for which teens post their food preparation and cooking videos, will award prizes and offer other professional culinary and nutrition insights. The first workshop was piloted at YouMedia inside Chicago’s Harold Washington Library.
Foodweb Chicago is a virtual network connecting food producers, distributors and consumers with the goal of distributing information regarding availability of and access to fresh foods. Its aim is to increase the distribution of unprocessed foods, with a focus initially on fruits and vegetables, to underserved, low-income communities.
Growing Innovations is a science and engineering curriculum for grades 6-12 developed in alignment with Next Generation Science Standards. Its goal is to empower students to create innovative plant growing methods, solve technical problems and explore the social and cultural impacts of growing local, nutritional food. The curriculum was piloted at the Mozart School in Chicago.
Hacking Hunger: Feeding Our City
Featuring nutritional “hacks” sourced from within the community, this hunger festival will serve residents of food-insecure Chicago neighborhoods by encouraging innovation, community collaboration and empowerment. Targeting the person(s) responsible for sourcing food and preparing meals within the home, the festival meets two important goals: increasing skills and resources and maximizing financial budgets and time to encourage good choices that meet nutritional needs.
The Seed Saddle is an in-home growing system designed to straddle window sills or railings utilizing a passive watering, wicking system. Central to classroom activities and proposed horticultural fairs in schools, the Seed Saddle will have an accompanying educational website about growing where children can post observations and photographs of their own Seed Saddle creations.
If you have questions about The Art of Science Learning at the Museum of Science and Industry, please contact ArtofScienceLearning(at)msichicago.org.
A National Science Foundation-funded initiative.
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