There is an often given and seldom followed bit of advice for people trying to get somewhere…

“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”

From individuals to large corporations, this advice is grounded in partnerships. As we know, partnerships don’t just happen on their own. Partnerships require like-hearted people to see the value in the contributions of others for a shared purpose. They understand that it is through the diversity of thinking, context and contributions that they can go further than they can alone.

Cultural Collisions is a partnership between The Ontario Science Centre, CERN, Perimeter, LIGO, University of Toronto Physics, Canada Light Source, the Ministry of Education and others. The “further” for this partnership is to create a learning experience for students and teachers which will support the integration of Art and Science. The partners have come together to share their different perspectives on the arts and science to create an environment where learning is about infusing a variety of perspectives, strategies, tools and skills to create new ways to conceptualize ideas. The week-long project was kicked off yesterday with introductions from a host of world-class scientists and artists and a particle flash mob. The week continues with interactive sessions on gravity, particle theory, black holes, celestial luminescence and more. Each of these sessions is facilitated by leading scientists from the partner organizations. An exhibit of the work of each of these organizations is also on display at the Ontario Science Centre.

Each of these partners brings a unique perspective on the connection between science and art and how they help us process emerging discoveries and communicate them with the world. Visit the twitter accounts of the partners for more information about their work.

@CERN    @Perimeter    @LIGO    @ATLASexperiment    @CanLightSource    @uoftphysics @CMSexperiment    @OntScienceCtr     Brigitte Tessier

Categories: Partnerships


Kimberley · April 13, 2018 at 11:15 am

Changing OR to AND

“The most surprising thing for me being here has been learning that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing; I can do both. I can be a scientist and an artist.”

This quote, by a grade 10 student, attending the Cultural Collisions Program at the Ontario Science Center encapsulates all that has been amazing about this learning experience. Being able to watch students engage in art-sci learning in an innovative way taught them, and myself, more than what the presenters had in their learning goals. Oftentimes education can represent possibilities as binaries – you can be an engineer or a veterinarian or a doctor or a teacher. Cultural Collisions shows what is possible when we remove the binaries and open the opportunities. Experiencing momentum conservation through painting or particle collisions through rap music students engaged in science curriculum in ways that another told me she “never could at school”. That is what made Cultural Collisions an amazing experience.

Jennifer Glass · April 16, 2018 at 9:08 am

The Spirit of Collaboration and Diverse Perspectives

Cultural Collisions – an innovative opportunity and interplay between numerous partners from science and art areas, universities, local schools and government – integrating art and science learning for the benefit of communicating scientific and artistic ideas to engage a diverse group of learners from grades 8 to 11. This project was nimble in design and implementation. For some, it was considered an impossible feat. Thanks to the committed contributions of a wide variety of individuals and institutions – it is an overwhelming success – with an infusing of hope and possibility into the space of integrating science, math and arts.

Student excitement was palpable with the infusion of rap music as a way to communicate scientific ideas such as particle collision. The medium was exhilarating – and inclusive – for many students who don’t see themselves represented in the ‘knowledge base’ of science. In addition, daily womens’ voices (bilingual) along with the contributions of women scientists and artists, offered role models and identities that are uncommon in the ‘scientific learned space’. If it is only these seeds that were planted for students and educators to see themselves – and the possibilities of entering this typically ‘barriered’ domain – then Cultural Collisions was a resounding success!

The exhibit did provide opportunity for diverse perspectives, relationship building, collaboration and more! We look forward to the upcoming students’ art exhibit that will communicate their learning and experience – May 30-31st at the Ontario Science Centre – along with all the seeds of curiosity, hope and possibility that have been planted. Kudos to each and every participant who contributed to the success of Cultural Collisions! Looking forward to the next iteration of this prototype of this international collaboration between art and science!

Please see #Cultural_Collisions on Twitter to view the past week’s activities and to connect with the participating partners.

Patrick Miller · April 17, 2018 at 9:59 am

Cultural Collisions is proving to be a great opportunity for bringing two often unconnected disciplines (science/art) together. In some ways, increased connectivity (and the ease of it) has allowed for groups of like-minded people in similar fields, to come together in closed systems. That turns out to be a significant barrier to innovation. Innovation needs diversity of thought, experience and expertise. It thrives on the coming together of seemingly unrelated ideas to create something new. When every group of like-minded people can have their own space, you can end up with an echo chamber and entrenched thinking.
In classrooms, opportunities for diversity of thinking depend on the people, system or school. At all levels, (from the classroom to the boardroom) we need to foster, value and celebrate building on the ideas of others and diverse ideas and ways of thinking.

Learning networks benefit greatly from diversity in their membership. Contributions from various disciplines, contexts and roles can produce the kinds of collisions of ideas and hunches that we couldn’t come to on our own. Have a look at your professional learning network. How many people do you connect with regularly from other fields?

In the end, the question is how are you, in your role, contributing to learning spaces and contexts that promote the collision of diverse ideas?

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