The Vizzies: Visualize Science

vizziesYou know how easy it is to get lost in online searches for something interesting—one thing leads to another and before you know it, it’s time for dinner—or bed. While writing the last post on integrating math and art, I discovered the beauty of the Vizzie Awards. The Vizzies, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Popular Science, award outstanding visualizations of scientific principles. Its website explains:

Some of science’s most powerful statements are not made in words. From DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man to Rosalind Franklin’s X-rays, science visualization has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten! Illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. They are a necessity for public understanding of research developments.

The 2016 award winners were recently announced, and by looking under the “Winners” link, you can see winners from previous years. Or maybe you’d like the video version of the 2015 winners. Take a look and be inspired.

Imagine sharing these images with your students. Now, clearly these are exceptional representations created by talented adults. But think about the possibilities. If you want a major project, you could create Vizzies for students in your school—picture it as a visual version of a science fair. Or try something smaller. Pick a science (or other) concept you are teaching and challenge students to create an image in any media. I’d love to see the results—and I suspect you will, too.

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