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A House for Cookie Monster

A House for Cookie Monster. Art and Science Collide at Noblesville West Middle School. 

What do Cookie Monster and acrylic paint have to do with science class? For some seventh graders at Noblesville West Middle School these subjects go hand-in-hand thanks to teacher Emily Crapnell’s unique approach to science learning.

Crapnell is one of only 20 educators in the state chosen to participate in a prestigious new program through the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Education that brings art into traditional classrooms.

Crapnell has partnered with Carvan Classes’ Deanna Leonard as a Noblesville community artist-in-residence, and the two are working together this year to lead six collaborative art and science lessons for Crapnell’s seventh graders.

Through the program, students are meeting biology and nature academic standards by cultivating habitats for imaginary creatures like Cookie Monster. These three-dimensional habitats incorporate the study of elements such as water, food, air, growth, homeostasis, cellular organization, and energy use.

Allowing students to pursue a creative outlook in applying their science learning brings lessons to life in a way that generates deeper questions, engaging discussion, and thoughtful debate. Oh, and it’s also a lot of fun. Who doesn’t love Cookie Monster?