Projects Underway

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Materials Matter: Integrating Science and Aesthetics for STEM Education

Dr. Valerie Imbruce, Assistant Director of Research Development

Project Team
  • Dr. Hilary Becker
  • Paul Parker
  • Provost Donald Nieman

Binghamton University


Tier Two

Project Abstract:

Materials Matter is an interdisciplinary course that will be a model for fostering interest in STEM at Binghamton University through a new approach to general education laboratory science. Students will explore the elemental structure, manufacturing processes, and historical contexts of color pigments. The course will present the chemical properties of pigments and their influence on artistic and social practices. Through an active learning approach, students will use scientific procedures and tools to examine objects from the University Art Museum’s collections to understand the pigments’ constituent elements and their processes of manufacture. In analyzing artworks, students will also learn how aesthetics influence innovations in materials and how new materials shape aesthetic sensibilities. Students will use an integrated visual language housed in a cloud–based app developed for this course to better understand course concepts and collect, analyze, and interpret data. This course aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach that appeals to both STEM inclined and disinclined students.

Project Outcome: