2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 207-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM-8:30 AM

ADOPTING AN ART STUDENT'S VIEW OF LOCAL GEOLOGY TO ENHANCE A BASIC EARTH SCIENCE CLASS

GRALL-JOHNSON, Hélène M., Liberal Studies Department, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, 1600 Pierce St, Lakewood, CO 80214, helenegj@aol.com.

Teaching local geology is easy in Denver, Colorado because one can take half-day field trips. I teach within a half hour drive of the Colorado Front Range, which is an area that offers spectacular outcrops of the three principal rock types, and has been well studied and documented by numerous geologists. Some of our field trip destinations are dotted with geological markers and informative geological trails.

Despite all these advantages, I am presented with the special challenge of teaching geology to art students because I teach in a BFA program in an art school. Most art students are visual learners, so I make extensive use of illustrations and artwork in teaching my classes to take advantage of their interest in shapes and colors in explaining basic earth science principles. Combining local geology field trips with the creativity of art students has produced unusual and rewarding results in teaching the formation of the Colorado Front Range and broader concepts in plate tectonics, and sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic processes.

I will present student projects that have been prepared in lieu of field trip reports. Clear instructions were given in advance that personal projects were to be completed without copying materials used in class or available on the Internet or in textbooks. Students, working either individually or with a classmate, chose projects connected with their art and design specialty. The attraction of the project is that they can include work of their own creation in their graduation portfolio. Animation students have produced animated videos, graphic design students have produced an interactive time line and a book, fine art students have produced paintings and sculptures, and interior design students have produced the layout for an informative trail. The assignments were sufficiently motivating for students to read background material outside of class time, to work diligently, and to turn in their final products on time - an impressive improvement in student performance by anyone’s standard!

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 207
Teaching Local Geology: An NAGT Session In Honor of Robert Christman
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 2A
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 523

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