Students dive into science-infused art projects

Students at Memorial Elementary School are on a different wavelength with their latest art projects, which drew a visit from Holly Lombardo, an artist and scientist.

Fifth-grade students at Memorial, with the guidance of Art Teacher Donna York, are learning how to show reflection and refraction of water in their latest art unit, incorporating science curriculum and art into their lessons.

The students are currently learning about water in their science class, York said, and her goal is to weave various subjects into her art lessons. Enter Lombardo: A research scientist in the biotechnology industry, an artist and a former math and science teacher. Through collaborating with York, Lombardo visited 5th-grade art classes at the school to talk about her work and how she infuses science into her art.

“Nothing we learn is in isolation,” York said, explaining that art is everywhere, and subjects students are learning are interconnected.

During Lombardo’s visit, where she discussed both water systems and her creative work, York said, students “loved seeing the connection, the purpose of why you might learn this information.”

Students want to know what they’re learning is valid, York said, and this visit reinforced the curriculum significance for them.

York said incorporating other subject areas into her art classes “gives students a broader understanding of how things relate, and they can go a little deeper into their projects with more background information.”

She said she’s also helping students see the many ways artists “get inspired, what drives an artist, and what around the world inspires pieces of artwork or creative pieces.”

Creativity, she said, is an essential part of her art classes she wants students to explore and focus on.