Sparking Sixth-Grade Imaginations: MOG Partners with Tacoma Public Schools to Offer Science of Art Curriculum to All 6th Grade Students

By Susan Warner, Curator of Education

“By blending art and science through hands-on experiences at Museum of Glass we hope students will connect with their passions and deepen their learning.” - Superintendent Josh Garcia, Tacoma Public Schools  

TPS 6th graders in the Hot Shop with Emcee Walt Lieberman.

Museum of Glass first launched our Science of Art program in 2003. Our goal for the program was to integrate the teaching of art and science in elementary and middle school classrooms to encourage students to build a fuller, more comprehensive understanding of the workings of our world and the interconnectedness of the sciences and the humanities. We hoped that this program would make a sustained, positive impact on young people in our community by sparking the imaginations of local students and encouraging them to explore the world with creativity and deeper understanding. In December of 2022, we took a major step forward in strengthening that impact by partnering with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS). Now, thanks to this partnership, the Science of Art program will reach every sixth grader in the school district! 

This initiative was launched thanks to Dr. Josh Garcia, Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools, who approached myself and my colleagues on the Education Team here at the Museum to express his comprehensive philosophy of exposure to experiences for all TPS students, and his interest in incorporating the Museum’s work to enrich lives through glass and glassmaking into the students’ learning experiences. Through this new partnership, more than 2,000 sixth graders will visit Museum of Glass this year to experience the latest Science of Art curriculum, The Phenomena of Heat Transfer, Light Transmission, and the Tools That Make It Possible.   

Science of Art hands-on crafts in the Education Studio.

This redesigned curriculum is a focused exploration of the phenomena revealed in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop, Galleries, and Education Studio, and was developed by our Museum’s Education Team and Jen Crump, the TPS Curriculum & Instruction Departments lead science teacher. Together, we worked to create a student-centered experience designed to align with high-yield instructional strategies and to meet the needs of all learners.  

To date, more than 10,000 learners have completed our Science of Art program. I and the entire Education Team at Museum of Glass cannot wait to see this program and partnership continue to grow as we elevate the Museum’s educational impact for years to come. We look forward to working alongside the educators in our community, and to learning alongside local students as they use tools from both scientific and artistic thinking styles to discover, innovate, and imagine new ways of problem solving. 

Science of Art docent tour through Maestro Alfredo Barbini: Nature, Myth, and Magic - The David Huchthausen Collection.

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