Briesemeister Middle School students are combining art with science and putting it on display.
Art Meets Science: Luminescence is set for 3:40 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the front grounds of the junior high school.
“What we do during the event is we try to show how art and science come together,” Briesemeister Middle School art teacher Kelly Hallmark said. “It all began when I started using art to teach a little bit of science by teaching my students about bioluminescence, fluorescence, and phosphorescence.”
Those who attend have the opportunity to partake in several light-focused science experiments and activities that range from glow-in-the-dark bottle rockets to a student art exhibit, Hallmark said.
“During the daylight, we will have students building rockets with plastic coke bottles that they will be adding glow sticks to for effect and once the sun goes down the kids will get to launch them,” she said. “We also will have various experiments like one where we have the students bang crystals together to produce sparks. Once it gets dark, we will look at planets through a telescope. We will also do a chemiluminescent experiment that will show the kids how glow stick stuff is made — like what’s it made of and how it glows.”
Prior to the event, Hallmark’s students participated in a contest where they were tasked with creating an art piece depicting a bioluminescent organism of any kind.
Of the dozens of students to participate, 12-year-old Briesemeister 7th-grade student Esmeralda Arroyo was singled out for her work. As a result, she received the prize of a raw amethyst and the honor of her piece being manufactured into glow in the dark stickers that will be passed out to the first 100 attendees at the event, Hallmark said.
“I have always loved art,” Arroyo said. “It’s really fun drawing and painting and being creative, so I made a jellyfish because they glow and I really like water, and I thought it would be a really pretty idea.”
Evan Molidor, who is known as “the Rock Guy,” is slated to make an appearance at the event, Hallmark said.
“He’s coming with minerals that glow under shortwave UV light and long-wave UV light, and he gives this presentation that explains to the kids how those minerals produce light,” Hallmark said. “What he’ll do is he will set up a table under a black tent so that people can see the rocks under the UV light.”
As an event that is highly anticipated by students every year, Hallmark says that the excitement leading up to the festivities has been palpable.
“The students have created posters that we have put up around the school and the library advertising the event, and we also have a poster up at Court Street Coffee,” Hallmark said. “They have really enjoyed putting their bioluminescent projects together. In fact, one of my students asked if we could do this all year long.’”
This is the fourth year the school has hosted the event for the students. However, this year the students wanted to bring in the community to show off what they are learning, she said.
Although previous events’ most prominent attractions have been the various science experiments, Hallmark said this year’s will be quite different.
“Over the past couple years students have really enjoyed looking at the minerals,” she said. “But this is the first year that we are doing the rockets, so I think they are really going to enjoy that.”