Ideas keep coming to me about how art intersects with science, technology, engineering, and math. It's as though I opened up Pandora's box when I started exploring STEAM. Last week my daughters accompanied me on a mission to get some colour changing markers. I had to have them for a project. I had never thought of the chemistry behind the magic of colour changing markers, but a few YouTube videos later, and there my daughter, Georgia, and I were conducting tests on what caused markers to change colours. The next day I tracked down Mr. Bardall and Ms. Lebiszczak and peppered them with questions about the chemistry behind it. Because items like vinegar and baking soda did have an impact on the markers, while other items did not, Ms. Lebiszczak said she thought the markers had some kind of a colour changing pH chemistry in them, and showed me a cool titration experiment on the spot. I still can't quite get my mind around it. I just barely broadened my mind to understand how light mixes (which is the reversal of how paint pigments mix), and now I have to entertain the notion that chemistry is linked to colour as well.
Sarah Gerrard teaches Visual Arts 9-12 at Warman High School. She recently received a grant from the Prairie Spirit Schools Foundation to infuse her courses with STEAM.