Art Contest for NASA’s International Observe the Moon Night

October 27, 2017

Art Has No Right or Wrong Answers

by Tammy Murga, Record-Bee, Ocotber 25, 2017

That’s what Lake County educators want students to know and teachers to introduce in classrooms. In an effort to make art a fundamental aspect of learning, the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) and the Lake County Arts Council (LCAC) are teaming up to bring an all-inclusive art contest to local students.

The contest will focus on art submissions inspired by International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN). According to NASA, the worldwide public event “encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon ... as well as the cultural and personal connections we all have with Earth’s nearest neighbor.

The annual happening is celebrated on October 28.

Drawing Down the Moon Art Contest Details

This would mark the second county-wide educational event that intertwines art with science. The first was back in August in observation of the solar eclipse, where 5,000 solar eclipse glasses were distributed and classrooms competed to win a Galileoscope, a telescope used to enhance hands-on learning.

“Education is becoming this integrated model, instead of teaching math for an hour then English for an hour,” Visual and Performing Arts Lead for LCOE Jenna Rodgers said. “It’s more about doing things like art and bringing in math and technology.”

California mandates each student to meet the visual and performing arts standards. Art then becomes particularly important in the STEM to STEAM movement, Rodgers said. The movement, championed by the Rhode Island School of Design, aims to add art and design to the equation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM.

Based on the movement’s website, there are three objectives in the STEM to STEAM shift, including to “influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.”

And that’s why LCOE and LCAC are bringing the art contest to students.

LCAC board member Martha Mincer said, “Some of the basic interactions, machines will do in the near future. So, the edge we can give our kids is to make sure, from pre-K to 12th grade, they are exposed to as much art as possible.”

Mincer added that with more than 35-percent of Lake County students estimated to be living in poverty, it is important to revitalize their and the county’s future success through the arts.

Mincer also shared that a study by Stanford University and the Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching showed that young people who participate in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and have greater college readiness. Low-income students who engage in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate from college than their peers with no arts education

LCAC committee member Gillian Parrillo said achieving this may take some “reframing” and that can start at home. Parrillo, Mincer, and Rodgers suggest parents do the research on how art greatly affects education.

“Art helps envision future situations so that we can tackle them. It’s that creativity and innovation that helps strengthen our kids’ ability to succeed. The research is so clear,” Mincer said.

With statistics as such, the push for providing Lake County students with an artistic edge is underway. The art contest is the “tip of the iceberg,” as Rodgers described, for this effort.

Submissions for the Drawing Down the Moon Art Contest will open on November 8 and will be due by 8:30 a.m. on November 13. All types of art, including poems, monologues, dramatic scenes, painting, or photography will be accepted. For work that cannot be physically submitted, a video or photograph will be needed for judging. Prizes include a $175 art kit for the first place winner, a $150 art kit for second place and a $125 art kit for third place. A Teacher Prize with a class set of Craypas will also be awarded to one teacher.

LCOE is looking into including the community to vote for their favorite submission.



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