Frequently Asked Questions

The class is designed for high school students of all disciplines getting ready for college / university. The main goals are to inspire, teach and support critical thinking outside of the box, explore divergent and convergent thought, encourage collaboration and create an international community with their peers.

Learning objectives include: breaking down the two cultures of art & science, expanding forms of inquiry to include alternative and embodied methodologies, application of art-based and scientific research through creative projects, development of ecological literacy, development of technological and haptic skills, and fostering collaboration and communication.

The goals have not changed within the virtual format, though we are aware there will be different results/projects/reflections for students in this year's program. We are open and interested to see what students come up with and will be working closely with them to facilitate the best learning possible.

This question is something we are actively defining as we know this is such a vital aspect of our summer program. In order to facilitate this, we are working to provide students with as much peer interaction as possible – in the off hours of the course we will host “watch parties” for SciFi film screenings as well as a virtual show-and-tell. The lab and campus visits will be recorded and streamed for students to see our amazing facilities and campus resources.

Also, SciArt Lab + Studio is modeled after Dr. Victoria Vesna’s UCLA online Honors Course, BioTech & Art and online studio course -- Design Media Arts Special projects -- BioNanotech & Art. The content, course work, and expectations are college-level and will maintain these parameters in its remote format. Every day will be devoted to a particular theme with required reading and students will be asked to maintain a blog/sketchbook that incorporates their own ideas in relation to the subject. This quarter, Dr. Vesna taught these courses all online, and so we have a successful example and model for the program.

This course is still an intensive UC pre-college course and students will receive 4 transferable UC credits. The process of transferring credits varies by school so the students will contact the school that will be receiving the credits to get information on the required process. What we provide for the them is their transcript which can be requested via MyUCLA once grades have been finalized.

We base the number of instructors on student enrollment. Each student is placed in a small group (15) with a lead instructor. This will be the student’s “home room”/team. Each day the team will meet to check in, discuss course content, go over any questions and provide feedback and review. This instructor will work intimately with the students and will always be available to answer questions and provide guidance and feedback. All groups meet at the beginning and end of the day if in the same time zone and view recorded experiences of those who are in a different time zone. They all have an opportunity to comment on the daily journals / blogs that students keep throughout the course.

We want students to have a genuine UCLA experience and we are ensuring that our programming and staffing reflects this. Each student will be placed in a ‘home group / team” for intimate interaction with peers and instructors. We have instructors in three time zones (PST, CET, CST, SST) to ensure constant live interactions.

Our teaching staff includes UCLA Professors: Dr. Victoria Vesna (Art, Science, Technology), Dr. James Gimzewski (Chemistry), and Dr. Clarissa Ribeiro (Associate Professor, Experimental Practices in Architecture UNIFOR - University of Fortaleza ), along with professional instructors: Dr. Adam Stieg (NanoScience), Kaitlin Bryson (Art and Ecology), Mick Lorusso (Art and Ecology), Sam Lilak (Chemistry), Monica LoCascio (Art and Science, Angewandte, Vienna) and Eli Joteva (Art, Science, Technology). We have current UCLA postdoc Sam LoCascio and graduate student Zeynep Abes (Design Media Arts); Cal-Tech graduate student Shane Houchin (Geology), along with undergraduate student assistants Ivana Dama and Clinton Van Arnam (Design Media Arts) to maintain a diversity of instruction and experience level. Our staff builds the foundation for true college-level, interdisciplinary learning and development to take place.

The course will feature workshops from SciArt Staff and guest lectures from world-renown scientists and leading researchers and artists from around the world. Furthermore, as SciArt is partnered with California NanoSystems Institute we work intimately with CNSI research partners. During all of the workshops and guest lectures, students will be able to ask questions and participate with the instructor lead or guest lecturer in real time. For students outside of the US, their hub instructor will facilitate these live- interactions.

For more information about the SciArt Staff - see question 12

The intention for the Home-Lab is to empower students to build and create their own lab and studio environment so that they are able to conduct experiments, research and artwork. The home-lab will be reflected with applications from actual labs and studios as part of the course content. The expectation is for students to create a modest at-home lab/studio that enables them to work on course material.

The supply list will be sent out to students 6 weeks in advance, so there is plenty of time to obtain materials. We are not able to provide materials to students due to the difficulty in accessibility and shipping across the world. The fee for the course does not cover material costs due to shipping issues, but the 40% reduced course fee considered this expense. We are working diligently to ensure that we maintain low-costs for material fees.

In the Remote Summer Institute we are emphasising COMMUNITY - this will be addressed in every aspect of our programming and assignments.

Students will be working together online throughout the duration of the course they will be in their teams each day and will also be collaboratively creating work and conducting research. We are also designing methods and games that facilitate dynamic and exciting interactions between the students – learning into online videos, slack and animation as platforms for connection.

The Hox Zodiac Dinner is a very fun collaborative dinner that will take place over zoom! Instructions for this dinner will be provided the first day of instruction, and an example can be found here. This is another opportunity for students to come together and share food - over a safe platform. This dinner also engages issues around CRISPR, cloning, genetic engineering and multi-species collaborations. It is fun and a great way to connect around these issues and informally discuss these topics. An informational video on the Global Quarantine edition can be found HERE, current course work and scholarship can be found HERE, and the original project can be found HERE.

The situation with COVID 19 virus and other social disturbances is very fluid and unpredictable with guidance from city/county leaders changing often. Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of all of our communities during this time while facilitating learning and allowing for a college experience to take place. However, at all times we must remain in compliance with University Guidelines for COVID 19 and since this is changing often, there might be a possibility that we will be able to accommodate local students coming together while following social distance guidelines. We are at this point assuming that in-person meetings will not take place but look forward to having groups meet post-pandemic.

The midterm assignment requires the students to present final project proposals. Groups must present their ideas to all instructors, and instructors respond in a formal critique and review, providing feedback and resources for development. Instructors will be working one-on-one guidance.

The final project asks students to collaboratively “IMAGINE THE IMPOSSIBLE” and create an imaginative and research-based solution to a contemporary global issue. Students form small collaborative groups based on interest and work together towards conceptual development. Student groups are responsible for providing a final presentation that includes the following: 1) An abstract of the research; 2) Development of concept; 3) Social Context; 4) Literature Review/precedents; 5) Project proposal – what is the project, how does it work? What is it made of? 6) Impact of the proposed project; 7) Discussion points. You can see some final presentations here as well as here!

With every microbial at-home-lab there will be a plethora of safety information and precautions to take. We will not be doing any high-risk lab work and will talk extensively about lab safety and students will be using Low tech materials to do hands-on activities and engage in High Tech concepts. Examples are: origami and DNA - folding techniques, cultivating mycelium as a sustainable resource, sound and science - building tools to listen to our environments; VR and AR and photogrammetry; and at-home microscopy

The art aspect of the program is in each workshop and mode of thinking. As a collective, we advocate for art-based, scientific research and also for modules of thinking that combine art and science in application and methodology. For example, we facilitate learning about microbiology and our body’s microbiome through collaging microscopy images into an exquisite corpse. Each aspect of our program is designed to activate all areas of the brain. Scientific information and research are expanded through making artwork, and vice versa. Our team of artists, scientists and creative technologists are prime examples of this type of work in place. And students will be shown and get to experience these examples extensively throughout the course!

Our director, Victoria Vesna is a practicing ArtSci Artist. You can see her current work here at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria! And the work of our instructors also provides good examples: Kaitlin Bryson, Mick Lorusso, Eli Joteva, Clarissa Ribeiro, John Brumley, Monica LoCascio

Our Scientific Director, Dr. James Gimzewski, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, facilitates our science team and collaborators. One of our instructors is PhD candidate in Chemistry, Sam Lilak and Neuroscientist, Samuel LoCascio leads a workshop and lecture about CRISPR and neuroscience.

The diversity of our team and instruction is what optimizes the SciArt experience. With the combination of our varying pedagogies students are immersed in multiple modes of thinking at once allowing them also to get feedback from a wide-range of people and disciplines. This stimulating environment creates innovative and thoughtful projects and responses to contemporary issues.