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UWG Combines Chemistry and Art in New Teaching Tool for Georgia Science Teachers

by Joy Esiemokhai

Creativity and innovation are essential tools in the teaching trade and teachers are constantly searching for new ways to impart knowledge to students. One ingenious method involves combining two subject areas that might be considered opposites like chemistry and art.

UWG Combines Chemistry and Art in New Teaching Tool for Georgia Science Teachers

Dr. Anne Gaquere-Parker

Faculty at the University of West Georgia are collaborating to support a workshop program for middle and high school science teachers that educates them on how to apply art in the teaching of chemistry concepts in order to stimulate greater interest and understanding in their students.

The Chemistry and Art Workshop is sponsored by a Teacher Quality grant from the University of Georgia. UWG associate professor of chemistry, Dr. Anne Gaquere-Parker, is the principal investigator of the workshop, now in its second consecutive year of funding. With her experience in teaching the Chemistry of Art course at UWG, which was sponsored by a three-year National Science Foundation grant, she, along with co-principal investigators, Ali Parker, UWG STEM master teacher, David Collins, UWG associate professor of ceramics, and Dr. Ashley Smallwood, director of the Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, aim to provide participating teachers with tips and tools for combining chemistry and art in the classroom for the benefit of their students.

“It is important to show students that chemistry can be used in other disciplines such as art or archeology. Often students see the sciences as compartmentalized and it is not the case,” Dr. Gaquere-Parker explains. “This program, which aligns with the chemistry and art classes taught on campus, belongs to a greater movement called STEAM which combines the Arts and the traditional STEM disciplines.”

In June 2014, the team led a week long “Chemistry and Art Professional Development Workshop” for science teachers. The program served as the pre-cursor and main event of a series of workshops geared towards giving teachers actual examples of the types of experiments they will be performing in their own classrooms. About a dozen middle and high school teachers from six counties and school systems participated in this program, which also includes three follow-up sessions that will take place over the next five months.

The first event is set to take place on September 6, 2014 at from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at UWG’s TLC building, while the second event will take place at Clark Atlanta University in November 2014. At the final event, which will be held once again at UWG in January 2015, participating teachers will make presentations about ways they implemented chemistry and art activities in their own classes. All three sessions will be closed to the public and reserved for the teachers taking part.

“We are very thankful to the Teacher’s Quality Grant office for their funding. The external evaluation of this program shows how effective it is and how much it has impacted the science teachers for the past two years and their students,” concludes Dr. Gaquere-Parker.

For more information on the Chemistry and Art program and its mission, please contact Dr. Gaquere-Parker at


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