Microscope Art and Cardboard Automata

Two great science/art connections to do in the library! In Microscope Art, I started off by showing images taken with electron microscopes, and we talked about the images as art. What shapes did we see replicated in the images that we see in other sizes (ie moss, trees, mountains, clouds, oceans)?

I bought some cheap microscopes that came with slides, as well as some very very fine pens (.001). Ideally, the microscopes would have had enough space for the kids to draw tiny drawings while they’re looking at what they were drawing through the microscope, but unfortunately they were just too cheap. So instead, the kids looked at the slides and drew what they saw. They were totally amazed and had never looked under a microscope before, so it was fun to go over how to use them, as well as have their eyes pop at the hidden worlds. micro

At another station, the kids had empty petri dishes (10 mm ones), paint, beads, and acrylic medium. They created awesome little bacterial tableaus inside the petri dish! micro22


Another awesome science/art program was Cardboard Automata with tweens. Using the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium Museum’s handout, I played around with ways to make it doable in an hour. It was a lot of prep work! But the kids made amazing ones. I was the official hot glue gunner and had to scurry around to ensure that everyone’s worked - but everyone’s worked! And we had time to talk about simple machines, why they worked, and how, as well as which types of movement they wanted to use. We had a rotating moon, compass, faces, boats... Definitely worth all the scurrying (although ideally you have two hours so the kids can really tinker instead of me having to swoop in and fix it). cardboard