Created as part of the Microscopic Masterpieces class, Rockwood School District third-grade students at the Center for Creative Learning (CCL) in Ellisville worked as authentic scientists and mathematicians to create artwork of enlarged insect parts. They sought accuracy during each stage of the process for the purpose of relaying correct information to their audience, according to Rockwood materials.
CCL Teacher Sharon Smith said the students began by researching insects and studying their tiniest parts, according to a Rockwood news release.
“What amazed me was the perseverance of these students,” said Smith in the release.
Students from throughout Rockwood attend the CCL gifted education program.
Chris Hartley, entomologist and coordinator of education programs at the Butterfly House, visited this third grade class to discuss the importance of accuracy when drawing insects.
In addition, Ken Brown, Ph.D., Rockwood parent and product development specialist for BASF Pest Control Solutions, shared his insect spreading boards, and his personally drawn insect enlargements with students.
The students then selected their insect parts from computer images. Students chose a variety of wings, abdomens, antennae, heads and thoraxes to enlarge. After learning and practicing the mathematical design process of drawing to scale, they created their own grids, drew fluent lines, implemented proper shading, constructively critiqued each other’s work and modified their pieces when necessary.
Smith said students kept reflection journals to document their accomplishments as well as their struggles during the process.
“The time, patience and determination to replicate each detail was inspirational. The students learned so much about insects and so much about themselves through this process, and they are excited to share their work with the community," she said.