One way The Antioch School distinguishes itself is by recognizing and developing the innate interest children have in Science and Art by providing a comprehensive Art and Science program for every child in the school. Science and Art are not viewed in the usual way, as disciplines with little in common. Instead, their wondrous complementary balance is appreciated and explored.
The Art & Science room contains a kitchen, pottery wheels, books, a wood-working bench, plenty of work space, lots of art supplies and a large collection of natural specimens, including bones, shells and nests.
The lab extends beyond the classroom to the school grounds, and beyond the school grounds to: the neighboring campus grounds of Antioch College, Glen Helen's extensive wooded acreage across the street, and other natural areas.
Brian Brogan, the teacher of the Art & Science program, is a hands-on science teacher. He uses a holistic approach to learning that engages a child's movement, vision, feeling, and hearing.
What Happens In Art & Science?
The Nursery and Kindergarten explore materials such as water, clay, wood, cardboard and sand. They perform their own "experiments" with these materials and are provided guidance rather than being told exactly what to do.
The Younger Group has more structure to their Art & Science studies. However, they have many opportunities to follow their own interests. They like to work with prisms, which has led them to create spectrums of color on the floor and the sewing of rainbow bags.
The Older Group learns about circuitry by creating works of art using motors, light bulbs and batteries to produce such things as a twirling ballerina, a virtual reality device and various automated boats. The OG also does scientific reporting and hypothesis testing. Student hypotheses regarding seeds involved seeing and reporting the effects of seeds growing in darkness, in cotton, and after microwaving.
Projects can involve the entire school community, such as the making of life-sized puppets for a school-sponsored Welcoming of Spring Parade through downtown Yellow Springs. On another occasion K through 6th grade students constructed a paper dragon, made flags and Chinese food, and together celebrated the Chinese New Year.