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Cool Science offers online learning for kids, adults

Thursday, June 11, 2020

LAWRENCE — Cool Science, a National Science Foundation-funded program that integrates science and art to promote understanding of extreme weather events, will offer remote programming this year for children and adults in Kansas, Missouri and Massachusetts.

Opportunities include an art competition, workshops for adult mentors, learning networks, training videos, lesson materials, winning artwork displayed on public buses and art exhibition celebrations.

“The accomplishments of these young artists will blow you away,” said Steven Schrock, principal investigator for Cool Science from the University of Kansas and professor of transportation engineering.  Schrock teaches in the KU Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering and is the director of the KU Transportation Center.

Schrock and Claudia Bode, education director for the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis at KU, lead the program at KU. They collaborate on this effort with Jill Hendrickson Lohmeier, associate professor of education at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell; Robert Chen, professor of oceanography and interim dean of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s School for the Environment; Lois Hetland, professor of art education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Stephen Mishol, associate professor of art at U-Mass-Lowell.

Cool Science Art Competition

Submission deadline Dec. 11

This annual art competition is for K-12 youths. Children choose one of three challenge questions to serve as the basis of their artwork. For example, they might artistically represent how severe storms form or how to keep cool in sweltering heatwaves. Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their work featured on their state’s public transportation. Learn more online.

Workshops for Adults

Apply by July 3 for August events

Adults who work with K-12 youths in Kansas, Missouri and Massachusetts can apply to participate in free online workshops to learn how to integrate art and weather science.

Workshop participants receive art supplies and other resources to support youths engaged in the art competition. Participants who complete these training activities — and mentor children who participate in the competition — can also earn up to $200.

The workshops are open to any adults — scout leaders, teachers, informal educators and parents — who works with at least 10 youths. Two workshop options are available: A weekday series (3-4:30 p.m. Aug. 3, 5 and 7) or a weekend series (8:30-10 a.m. Aug. 8, 15 and 22. Space is limited. Learn more online.

Art Exhibition Celebrations

6:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 12

Cool Science will livestream their art exhibit celebrations in August to acknowledge the honorees from the 2019-2020 Cool Science art competition.

Each event will feature art and science guest speakers, including David Rahn, KU associate professor of geography & atmospheric science. The Kansas City/Topeka event will be held virtually. Learn more at www.coolscience.net/art-exhibition-celebrations.

Online Resources

Cool Science offers a variety of learning opportunities on its website.  Training videos and lesson materials are coming soon as well for anyone to access.

NSF funds Cool as part of the “Advancing Informal STEM Learning” (AISL) initiative.

Image: A Kansas City Cool Science Runner-Up submission from the 2019 event.