Green+Purple=Nebula + education = fun

A nebula is defined as:

an interstellar cloud of gas and dust. The properties of nebulae vary enormously and depend on their composition as well as the environment in which they are situated.

I was trying to recreate an artist representation of a nebula.  The main colours were green and purple.

Purple and green nebula

This piece was 3 layers of resin, creating a multi layered effect.  As we know a nebula is massive, and made from gas.  So, I wanted a smokey effect, depth of view & sparkle to represent stars.  I have found this incredibly hard to photograph- so stay with me…

Jump online and type in ‘Nasa + Crab Nebula” and I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Crab Nebula: Source

So I leave you with a few questions:

  1. How do you reach your science students?
  2. How do you enthuse students?
  3. How do you let students express themselves artistically?

Art + Science + Universe= works!

This post illustrates how we can use art and science to help students express artistically and interpret their scientific understanding and knowledge about the Big Bang and the formation of the universe.  This educational understanding corresponds to the Victorian Curriculum learning outcome (VCSSU129).: The Universe contains features including galaxies, stars and solar systems; the Big Bang theory can be used to explain the origin of the Universe.

If you like art, love space and are a teacher- read on.

A spectacular example to show your students to inspire about  art + science + universe is “Creativity and curiosity: when art meets science”.  This mobile exhibition is currently touring the UK and currently on view at the National Space Centre Leicester, for more information click here.  Fig 1. was created by Ione Parkin who as an artist “has become fascinated by ideas about the early formation of the universe”  (Parkin and Ione. p3. 2016).  The article in full is available from A&G • December 2016 • Vol. 57 •

Fig 1.   Ione Parkin RWA for Creativity and Curiosity.

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 12.30.42 pm

Made by: Ione Parkin RWA for the Creativity and Curiosity Exhibition

The project used current academic research from 4 scientists, one of the scientists Denis Erkal is quoted as stating: “One of the most striking aspects of this collaboration is how similar science and art really are. While the methods of scientists and artists are different, we are both trying to use our work to explore the world around us and our place in that world.”

So, how can this particular project, art, and space all combine to complement a descriptor in the Victorian Curriculum section called Earth and Space Sciences?  The need for students to be able to express their findings and their wonderings about the universe is crucial to teaching.  I mean, who hasn’t looked into the heavens and wondered about the stars, or the Milky Way?

When we look at the four scientists that worked with the project, this one quote stands out: “We are all interested in something that transcends our perceptions and explores the realm of what is possible” certainly, if we can harness this wonder in our students, and allow them the opportunity to use oils, pastels, water colours or acrylics we can allow them to express their inner thoughts and feelings about our universe.



Parkin, Ione (01/12/2016). “Creativity and curiosity: when art meets science”. Astronomy & geophysics : the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1366-8781), 57 (6), p. 6.28.

Google+ Space + Solar Art

These cold drink coasters were based on the idea of a aurora borealis above Iceland.  I’ve always been amazed by the aurora borealis after viewing it as a small girl.  The science behind this is quiet amazing.  Students often gaze with amazement at the colours and the vastness.  This short informative video will help set an introduction and help with the concept of charged particles entering the atmosphere and excited atoms in the air creating the colors you see.

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