(“Art with Science” Project)

Sergipe, Northeast of Brazil, October 2011

by Rejane Spitz

Projeto “ARTE COM CIÊNCIA” is a project organized by IPTI - Instituto de Pesquisas em Tecnologia e Inovação (Institute for Research  in Technology and Innovation), sponsored by FINEP, which aims at promoting art+science education in high schools located in very poor communities in the State of Sergipe (Northeast of Brazil).

I was invited to participate as a Juror, and helped select the best projects developed by high school students from the Arabela School (located in the city of Estancia, Sergipe) and from the Raimundo Neto School (located in the city of Indiaroba, Sergipe). Two projects were selected: a solar stove (a low cost solar energy device, which can be built by the user) and a project focusing on promoting consciousness on protecting animals which live in the mangrove, in special two kinds of crustaceans typical from the region: Aratu and Caranguejo-Uçá. The original projects had been developed by those students and teachers using very limited resources and technical skills, and now the Department of Art & Design at PUC-Rio University will transform those ideas into interactive installations which will become part of a collection of a museum of Art & Technology to be created in Sergipe, focusing on interactivity and science education. In 2013, 3 more projects will be selected from a series of art, science and ecology fairs which will be held in certain schools in Sergipe in October 2012, and will also be transformed into interactive installations by the team of PUC-Rio’s Department of Art & Design.

By participating in this project, I had a chance to talk with teachers from those poor communities about the importance of computer graphics and digital media education. Through this project, those students will be exposed - for the first time in their lives - to high-end technologies, in the areas of animation, game design and interactive displays. ACM SIGGRAPH’s Education Committee can play an important role by supporting projects such as this one. Also, materials such as computer animation festival DVDs, for instance, would be of great interest to these kids, and could be donated to these schools.