A science-art connection: students explore the world of algae | Flanders Marine Institute

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A science-art connection: students explore the world of algae

Added on 2017-06-27
What are algae? And why are they so important to us? These are questions rarely asked to students in Multimedia Technology at the Karel de Grote College (KdG) or the High School of Arts Sint-Lucas in Gent. Yet these were the subjects they digged in to during the past few months. Earlier this year both groups of students were introduced into the world of ‘algology’ and were challenged to make educational animation videos, textile and juwellery designs and 3D prints. The best 25 animation movies were showcased in the UGC cinema in Antwerp. A jury of both scientists and multimedia professionals evaluated the works and elected the work of Shana Martens as the best creation of 2017. On several occasions the art designs of the high school students were exhibited to the general public in Sint-Lucas Ghent.

Photo: VLIZ

The European Horizon 2020 research project ALFF - Algae microbiomes: Friends or Foes? focuses on innovative research on algae. Fifteen PhD students from six European countries are investigating the relationships between algae and bacteria, other microbes or even other types of algae. Within the framework of this project, VLIZ reveals the relevance of this research towards the public at large, by creating visuals in an innovative and interactive way, through collaboration with students from both College (KdG) and High School levels (Sint-Lucas Gent). Scientists from Ghent University and VLIZ have been teaching about algae in different classes at both schools. Inspired by these courses, the students started to work on topics like ‘What are algae?’, ‘How are algae grown?’ and ‘Why are algae relevant to us?’.

The students of Sint-Lucas got inspired by micro-algae to create artistic jewellery, textiles, cloths and 3D models, the KdG college students sharpened their skills in animation video making (‘Motion Graphics II’).

KdG associate professor Ivan Waumans and some ALFF partners selected the best 25 animations, which were showcased on 16 June in the UGC cinema in Antwerp (click here for photos). Among the KdG students, their friends and family, there was also a group of 22 students (4th grade Audiovisual Art) from the Sint-Lucas art school. Teachers Julie Bekemans, Jan Sevenant and Sebastien Vanblaere, who are all professionals in audiovisual arts, were members of the professional jury. After having rated the videos, student Shana Martens standed out with her animation video on ‘harmful algae’. Bart Bouwens conquered the public award with an animation about 'the origin of algae’. Both students were awarded a 125 euro voucher. In addition, Shana Martens will work as a job student at VLIZ to further shape the animation films so that they can ultimately be used in an international exhibition.

All the designs of the ALFF project in the Sint-Lucas High School af Art were presented both at the open door event on 6 May and at the end of the year's exposition on 24 June. A beautiful showcase of clothing, jewelry, textile designs, mood bords, sketchbooks and the like.

For more information about this project: mieke.sterken@vliz.be or jan.seys@vliz.be

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