"Good Microbes Art Project" Art and Education Collaboration between Otis College of Art and Design and Loyola Village Elementary School, Los Angels, CA,
Teaching / Workshops forLoyola Village Elementary students

The "Good Microbes Art Project" involved Otis sculpture students in teaching Loyola Village Elementary students about environmental concerns through a study of microbes from the Ballona Wetlands. Additionally, we are creating a complementary site-specific art work that will be located on the grounds of the school. Tailoring the educational component to extend the 4th grade curriculum, the Otis students and mentors prepared two lesson plans that focused attention on the microbial world of "protists" (single celled organisms). We chose to work with the world of protists for a number of reasons. First, the school is located very close the Ballona Wetlands and students had already participated in a special field trip to the area. Second, protists are truly amazing visual forms and were the first inspirations of early developers of microscopes. Finally, the microscopic study of protists have yielded a fascinating array of visual representations, first in the form of drawings that characterized the features of their organic form and continuing until today in the form of photographic and videographic portrayal that utilize myriad special lighting effects to capture the essentially transparent organisms.

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