ABSTRACT

As a teacher I shared some of Georgia O'Keefe's paintings of flowers with a class of children. They described looking at them as like imagining that you are a bee and 'zooming in'. This idea of 'zooming in', and also of 'zooming out' - of looking at things on different scales - is important to biology as well as to art. We zoom in by using hand lenses and microscopes to look at the detail of living things - a common woodlouse is pretty impressive when magnified! Zooming out - we think about living things in relation to other living things, and the environment, moving to global ideas about sustaining life on our planet. If creativity can be stimulated by looking at familiar things in different ways then this topic lends itself well to thinking about things on different scales.