Microscopy and Art Workshop

Mara G. Haseltine Microscopy and Art Workshop: “Making the Invisible Visible”
St Josephs’ College Campus October 2015

This workshop, though simple, is meant to illuminate the magic of the microscopic or “invisible” world allowing students to interpret it through art.

This class workshop offers students an experiential approach to learning about both biology and art. Students are asked to take on the roles field biologists, lab scientists and artists in this unique workshop using their local campus, garden or park as a field research site. The reasoning behind this simple strategy of inspecting the natural world around them “at their back door” so to speak is to teach students about biology and art through experiencing their connection first hand.
The workshop consists of the students collecting samples of water, earth and any odds and ends that catch their fancy from the Saint Joseph’s College Campus wetland grounds which include a pond. The students are then asked to use a data-collecting sheet and document the details about where the specimens were captured and under what weather conditions etc. The students then have the opportunity to look at their specimens underneath a microscope and select a microscopic image that interested them varying magnitude of magnification. Based on a print out of the image, the microscopic world is revealed to students in this workshop in an intimate way geared towards engaging the students to the world around them in a new way.

NOTE: This workshop was designed for college students but could easily be adapted to younger students or even older Continuing Ed Students as well. It was a great joy for me to experience both the science students and art students interpreting and working with the microscopic world with such curiosity and passion.