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Aera in the Community Feb 11, 2021

Paint brushes + pentagons = math learning at this Monterey County school

Ramon, a student at San Lucas School, uses his watercolor supplies to add dimension to his shapes as part of a Watercolor for Math Engagement assignment.

Ramon, a student at San Lucas School, uses his watercolor supplies to add dimension to his shapes as part of a Watercolor for Math Engagement assignment.

With the help of Aera Energy, San Lucas students are learning math through art

Whether school is taking place through a computer screen or in the classroom, students in Tom Carvey’s classes at San Lucas Elementary School are learning that math is about a lot more than a bunch of numbers.

In fact, they’re getting help learning the subject through watercolor painting.

Carvey has launched a new Watercolor for Math Engagement project designed to help students learn math through activities that involve their eyes and hands in creative ways. Students received a quality watercolor set, paint brush and a pad of watercolor paper on which to draw rectangles, squares, triangles and pentagons. Students paint the colorful shapes while learning about angles and dimension, a steppingstone to geometry, which also helps with logical thinking.

“Research has shown students are more likely to retain mathematical information when students are actively engaged in creating art,” said Carvey, who teaches math to students in the sixth through eighth grades. “I’m pleased with how blending math and art is helping my students learn.”

The project supplies were made possible by a grant from Aera. San Lucas Elementary School is located just off Highway 101 between Aera’s San Ardo oilfield and Paso Robles.

“At a time when education is especially difficult, it’s great to have a partner like Aera make it possible to bring my students something fun and exciting,” added Carvey.

Students in the sixth through eighth grades at San Lucas School are learning important math concepts through painting with watercolors.

Students in the sixth through eighth grades at San Lucas School are learning important math concepts through painting with watercolors.



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