Bridging the Worlds of Art and Science How General Chemistry Empowers Cultural Heritage Preservation

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Adrian Villalta-Cerdas


Integrating theoretical concepts into practical applications is crucial, especially in specialized fields like art conservation science. Bridging this gap between chemistry pedagogy and practical application is essential in developing students' skills in applicable contexts. This article aims to introduce a novel pedagogical methodology for enhancing learning in chemistry. This strategic assignment focuses on conserving cultural heritage artifacts, emphasizing the practical application of chemistry concepts. The article seeks to explore the potential benefits of this approach and provide insights into how to implement such assignments in general chemistry courses. The assignment requires students to select and analyze artwork of cultural significance while applying central chemistry concepts from the course curriculum to the conservation process. The students will then prepare written reports following a pre-established template. The student reports will serve as a valuable educational resource for future students. This approach creates a conducive environment for immersive learning by showcasing the practical application of course concepts within art conservation science. From the assignment, students demonstrated a nuanced understanding of chemistry's integral role in preserving cultural heritage, acknowledging the interplay between environmental conditions, material properties, and their impact on artifact longevity. They appreciated the necessity of chemical analysis in determining artifact composition, guiding the development of tailored conservation methodologies. Notably, students recognized the value of these preservation efforts in maintaining historical authenticity, serving as educational tools, and bolstering cultural pride.

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How to Cite
Villalta-Cerdas, A. (2024). Bridging the Worlds of Art and Science: How General Chemistry Empowers Cultural Heritage Preservation. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 8(1).
Author Biography

Adrian Villalta-Cerdas, Sam Houston State University

I joined the Department of Chemistry at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Fall 2016. My teaching responsibilities focus on General Chemistry courses.

Besides teaching, my academic research focuses on learning strategies that foster skill development and studying effective teaching practices in chemistry at the college level.

I am passionate about developing learning strategies to enhance the classroom and laboratory learning environments for the students at SHSU.