Students perform a deep investigation of the surprising and compelling role algae plays in our lives -- from oxygen production, to food, to material science, to its potential for renewable energy. Our algae-inspired installation Holotype, a two-story piece of hand-sculpted thermoplastic formations, pools of water, and dynamic light refraction patterns, creates an immersive environment where students reflect on algae's fascinating photosynthetic ability. Students come to appreciate this diverse life form as they step inside a larger-than-life microscope, create gooey polymers from algal cell extract, identify algae in everyday items, and finally synthesize the whole experience by designing their own algae-inspired creations.
During the Morphology field trip, students experience a fusion of art and science as their investigation of a stunning piece of art provides a new perspective on the organism that researchers at Utah State University are studying as a potential source for clean, renewable, domestic fuel. Students gain insight into how they could utilize algae to possibly improve the future of transportation, environmental cleanliness, and more.
At the end of one field trip experience, a staff member asked a student if she wanted to take home some of the algae polymer. She responded, "I don't need a souvenir. I'm never going to forget this."
The Morphology field trip is tailored to grades 5 through 12. Each field trip supplements Utah state standards in the disciplines of both science and art.