Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition Attracts New Students | Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
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Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition Attracts New Students

Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition Attracts New Students

Posted on Jan 28, 2015, by

Preparations for the annual Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition have been ongoing for a few weeks at the museum. Students from nine area high schools have been participating in workshops in The Glass Studio, where they are learning glass working techniques and creating objects for the exhibition. Traditionally, these workshops have been attended by outstanding high school art students, but this year one group is a bit different.

When Appleton Career Academy Instructor, Renee Ulman received an invitation for her high school art students to participate in this year’s Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass (BMMOG), she passed on the invitation. No, she didn’t ignore it, but rather, she thought beyond the benefits the experience could have for art students and passed it to her colleague, Kristie Moder.

Moder teaches the physical sciences at the Appleton Career Academy, a charter school at Appleton North where curriculum is developed with a multidisciplinary approach. Because of the opportunity at BMMOG she created a five-week unit on glass. Moder envisioned the BMMOG workshop as unique approach to understanding the science of glass by incorporating art and history experiences into the unit. Students will be exploring the topic through several avenues including its physical properties, states of matter, chemical reactions, and thermodynamics, among others.

This past Monday, before the students got to the hard-core science of glass, they worked in The Glass Studio over oxygen and propane torches melting and shaping glass into beads. Students also learned the glass working technique of fusing sheets of glass in a kiln.

Moder said of the experience, “The kids need the creative piece to help them understand the science. We try to infuse the creative process because it makes them better thinkers.”

She observed that when there is a creative component in lessons, the students will later approach the problem solving process on a scientific topic differently than if they are given the problem straight away. They are able to use the creative component to see the science beyond just the numbers.

Work from the Appleton Career Academy students as well as that from talent across the Fox Valley will be on exhibit at BMMOG during the month of March. Be sure to visit and see their creations in the Fox Valley Area High School Glass Exhibition.

The exhibition is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial: Hinnendael & Associates, Liberty Hall Banquet and Conference Center, Miller Electric, David Woods and by grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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