Lawrence Arts Center’s science-art program receives $100,000 grant

The Lawrence Arts Center received a $100,000 grant Tuesday that will expand an out-of-school science education program for elementary students.

The funds will help the Arts Center offer its ArtSpace program year-round after primarily being a summers-only class since it debuted three years ago. The grant also will help create more full-time teaching positions for well-trained teaching artists.

“This will have a tremendous impact on the ArtSpace program,” said Susan Tate, chief executive officer for the Arts Center.

The grant was awarded by the Hearst Foundations, a pair of national philanthropic organizations working in culture, education, health and social services.

ArtSpace focuses on science lessons that incorporate artistic disciplines while meeting national education standards for both subjects. For instance, sessions on atomic structure or the physics of flight are accompanied by crafting models and bottle rockets.

The program is offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Tate said the Arts Center trains artists or hires scientists or vacationing public school teachers to lead the courses.

In addition to its summer availability, ArtSpace can now become an after-school program and hold session on weekdays when school is out. More resources will also be available for training instructors and keeping them around on a long-term, and full-time, basis, Tate said.

“We feel that art and science have a natural connection, and all the best learning takes place when art and science are taught together,” Tate said.