Taylor Bendig and Lauren SzuckiSecond-year science students Taylor Bendig and Lauren Szucki celebrated a marriage of science and art on Wednesday in Essex Hall.

Student group promotes artistic approach to science education

The Science Meets Art (SMArt) group hosted a Valentine’s Day fundraiser in Essex Hall on Wednesday, to support science education projects. Faculty of Science students interested in creating science-focused, educational art pieces formed the group in Fall 2017.

Second-year biology student Taylor Bendig is one of the founders. She says she was driven to start SMArt to give science students an opportunity to use their passion for art to educate the community about science in a non-traditional way.

“Being a Walkerville graduate, I was given the opportunity to be part of an art-rich environment and I wanted to try and bring this environment to the university, specifically to science students who typically may not have the chance to participate in the arts,” says Bendig. “We are using this Valentine's Day event to raise money to purchase art supplies needed to complete projects, which allows students to continue to create these pieces.”

One SMArt participant has already created a drawing for a scientific research publication. Kathleen Gorospe is a fourth-year student in the health and biomedical sciences program. She created a computer graphic depicting the general mechanism for the stretchability of a conjugated polymer developed by the UWindsor Rondeau-Gagné Research Group.

“I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Dr. Rondeau-Gagné and to help him with his scientific abstract,” says Gorospe.

“Working on this project, as well as the other projects I have completed through SMArt, has made me aware of the impact that art can have in conveying scientific ideas and concepts. SMArt has provided an avenue for me to combine my passions for science and art while having fun in the process.”

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Simon Rondeau-Gagné says Gorospe’s strong artwork skills made the conceptual representation of his research more comprehensive and clear, which is now required to publish in top science journals.

“The students from the SMArt group have a different perspective on the research in comparison to my group members, which nicely complements our work,” says Dr. Rondeau-Gagné.

On February 14, students sold sweet treats and crafts, displayed their artwork and hosted a photo booth for visitors. For more photos, go to the Faculty of Science facebook photo album. For more information, email smartuwindsor@gmail.com or follow the group on social media: on Instagram @smartuwindsor and on Facebook at SMArt UWindsor.

Sara Elliott

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