Innovation: George Rickey Kinetic Sculpture
South Bend 2009 - 2010

Lesson 1: Connections:
Art in science; Science in Art
Grades: all, depending on the leading questions
Resources: (1)More
pictures of Rickey sculptures; (2) Three 30 second videos of the sculptures

    Possible Questions
Was George Rickey a scientist?
What is the evidence for his scientific thinking?
Did any other artists use science in making their art?
How do scientists use art in developing their ideas?... And completing their projects?
Do you think you need to be a “good” artist to understand “good” art?
Do you use art in your life outside the classroom?

Teacher help:
The students should be making connections between the shapes of Rickey’s sculptures, and the forces of the wind and of gravity.
More generally, there could be the artists’ use of color and texture and shapes in their paintings
- the concepts of “far-point” and “perspective” in painting was developed toward the end of the middle ages.
There is also a link between Rickey’s development of unusual “knife edges”, gimbels and other balance points to make the parts move.
Groups should develop a list of connections between a work of art (could be a Rickey sculpture), and the scientific ideas within it.
Hands-on: make a work of art which illustrates a scientific concept from the list the group has created.
Summing up the experience: The groups discuss how their art productions illustrate the different scientific concepts/ideas.
The principal goal is to have the students realize the intertwining of art and science.
Extensions: Develop the ideas that art and science also are intertwined with mathematics, technology, reading, writing and the language arts in general.

Some Standards