Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise ways that science and art can be used in collaboration.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science (ACSHE223)

Year 8 Science

  • People use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of science in their occupations (ACSHE227)

Year 9 Science

  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)

Year 10 Science

  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE194)

Year 7 & 8 Visual Arts

  • Analyse how artists use visual conventions in artworks (ACAVAR123)
  • Identify and connect specific features and purposes of visual artworks from contemporary and past times to explore viewpoints and enrich their art-making, starting with Australian artworks including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAVAR124)

Year 9 & 10 Visual Arts

  • Evaluate how representations communicate artistic intentions in artworks they make and view to inform their future art making (ACAVAR130)
  • Analyse a range of visual artworks from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their visual art-making, starting with Australian artworks, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and consider international artworks (ACAVAR131)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-17CW, SC4-13ES, SC5-13ES, SC5-13ESVAS4.3, VAS4.7, VAS4.8, VAS4.9, VAS4.10, VAS5.7, VAS5.8, VAS5.9, VAS5.10.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Art, science, crochet, coral, photography.

Artists used in this resource:

  1. Fernan Federici

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching a video on either an art and science collaboration or an art, science and maths collaboration and completing a thinking routine.

The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about art and its relationship to science or to science and maths. While working independently, students are to view one of the following videos and complete tables on the student worksheet. Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan other environmental art based activities.

This visual thinking tools can be useful in examining how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.


Video 1. Rachel Sussman: The world's oldest living things

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How can science use art?

Step 1.

Before watching one of the videos, look at this image, read the accompanying statement and answer the question below:

A couple of years ago Fernan Federici was “using microscopes and a process called fluorescence microscopy to see if he could identify these kinds of patterns on a cellular level. Federici grew up with photography as a hobby, so looking through the microscope at all the different colors and patterns he realized that the process was highly visual. He hadn’t seen many images like what he was seeing published for the general public, so he asked for permission from his adviser Jim Haseloff to post the photos on his Flickr site. Today that site is filled with pages and pages of microscopic images, some of which are from his work, while others are just for fun.”

Click here for more.


Is this art or science? Justify your answer:

Step 2.

Watch one of the following videos. The first video with Rachel Sussman describes

- or - to view worksheets

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