Philly Museum 'Running Math in Art' Online Course

A Philadelphia art museum will soon be launching an online K-12 teacher training course, "Math in Art." This interactive course, being run by the Barnes Foundation, aims to promote experiential learning through the integration of math and art.

The course requires no art or math teaching experience. Each week, teachers will look closely at a given work of art and learn "how to support an art dialogue with your students and add a math lens and facilitate math-based art experiences" in the classroom. They'll receive lesson plans, art posters and other teacher materials as part of the program.

Philly Museum Running Math in Art Online Course

This year's paintings for the student "Art of Math Challenge." Source: Barnes Foundation

The Math in Art program runs from Oct. 21 to Dec. 15, 2019. The cost is $250 for non-museum members (with an additional fee of $50 for those participants that want Pennsylvania continuing education credits). Tuition waivers are being made available for up to 15 teachers in Title I schools.

For teachers in the vicinity of Philadelphia, the foundation will hold a free workshop on Oct. 3 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to help them prepare for an "Art of Math" competition. The challenge pushes teams of students to use math strategies to design and build a 3D scale model of one of three specific paintings in the Barnes collection. As part of the exercise, students must also write a description of their mathematical process and submit a photograph taken of the model from "the best viewer perspective." In March 2020, all of the models that were submitted will be put on display during a free museum day.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.