Students learn science through eyes of artists

A trip to the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands has earned Triple C Year 11 students a new appreciation for microorganisms and the role they play.

The students visited the galley’s latest temporary exhibition earlier this month to have a closer look at “Luminescent Forms: Art Under the Microscope.”

“This was a unique and exciting experience for the students as they viewed the different images and sculptors of foraminifera,” said Charlotte Kelly, a science teacher at Triple C School. Ms. Kelly took the students to the gallery to learn more about science from an artistic perspective.

“The students were also excited to view the artwork of one of Triple C’s alumni, Davin Ebanks, the creator of the sculpture pieces of the foraminifera,” said Ms. Kelly. She told the students that he graduated from Triple C in 1993 and went on to pursue degrees in art.

Student Kevin Redden said, “Having a visual example and actual pictures of organisms enables us as students to gain a better comprehension of what was taught to us in the classroom.”

Students had much more to say about sand being in everything. “It was unbelievable how much sand is used to build our society,” said Keilah Quincoces, and David Brown found out that Cayman sand is made up of so many different dead organisms, it’s a “graveyard.”

Student Ruby Grace liked learning that there are different varieties of sand and you can tell the difference by looking at them under the microscope, while Mackenzie Morse said she learned how much sand matters to our growing world.

“I realize the sand we have is biotic, not just a collection of minerals,” said Scott Burley, and Leanni Tibbetts said she truly appreciates our sand more.

Classmate Jada Conner said she was amazed that sand was even in food.

Kerwin Ebanks, education coordinator at the National Gallery, said students left with a much deeper appreciation of often-overlooked microorganisms and the role they play in our ecosystems. “They were also able to better comprehend the links between subjects like science and art,” he said.

Mr. Ebanks explained the exhibition, and said that through interactive worksheets, activities in the sand lab, their own research and watching “Sand Wars” – a documentary on the world’s consumption of sand, the students were able to enjoy a new and unique educational experience outside of the classroom.

According to the school, the students were already studying the subject and this experience was another way for students to see what they learned in the textbooks from a visual point of view.

Teacher Kelly said the National Galley did an outstanding job with a sand exhibit by creating a learning space that is interdisciplinary.

“The trip provided my students with an education of the economics of sand, the detailed art of creation at the micro level, and the science of sand.”

“Luminescent Forms: Art Under the Microscope” runs until April 17.

The National Gallery offers free tours to students of all ages in the Cayman Islands. For more information or to book a tour, contact the National Gallery at [email protected]


Charlotte Kelly, a science teacher at Triple C, views the exhibits with students.

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