AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting- Objects and Research and Technical Studies Joint Session, May 9, 2012 “ Chemistry in Art Scholars– A Virtual & Real Community” by Hill and Odegaard

I’m not an educator, but while listening to this talk I was thinking “Sign Me Up!”. Dr. Hill spoke about the intensive workshop provided for educators who want to improve their science classes or start new ones. She’s a professor at Millersville University and wants conservators to know that chemistry professors are safe to connect with! The overarching program of cCWCS (Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops, and Communities of Scholars) covers many topics, but she focused on those that combine chemistry and art. You can check out their website (there was a typo in the original talk title) and find lots of materials if you aren’t able to attend the workshop or you’re just interested in finding out more about what they do. If you are thinking about starting a class or want to improve a class that you already give this 5-day intensive workshop might be for you. And it’s all expenses paid, thanks to the NSF. Their target audience is undergraduate faculty and staff and includes mainly chemists, practicing artists and art faculty. They are interested in having more representation from the conservation community. It sounds like a fun way to get the word out about what conservation is and what conservators do as there is a high degree of confusion about the difference between curators and conservators amongst this group. Also, you could potentially make some helpful contacts in the chemistry world.

The participants come from all over the country and generally fall into four categories:

  1. those how are looking for a fancy vacation (really a minority)
  2. older faculty who now have more flexibility in their schedule and are looking to pursue interests outside of their previous research and bring excitement to their students
  3. mid-career faculty who are looking for a unique area of research or trying to find their teaching niche
  4. and community college faculty who are looking for support and to bring interesting applications to students to engage them and get them more enthusiastic about science.

Vicki Cassman is an example of one of their alums who attended a session in 2010 and took what she learned back to UD for an honors seminar.

In 2009 they started an advanced workshop, the third of which will be held this summer. During this workshop they discuss ethics and understanding the questions you are trying to answer before starting analysis. Participants can bring an object that they have questions about and then they share the results with one another.

In the future they are looking for ways to broaden the community and making resources available to educators. Thanks to Nancy Odegaard and Dr. Hill for bringing this to our attention.