Maria Sibylla Merian, today's Google Doodle, was a naturalist, entomologist, botanical illustrator, and importantly, a mother of two. Ms. Merian took her daughters into nature with her and their collective work was featured in an art show.
The life of Maria Sibylla Merian, a 17th century German-born naturalist, entomologist, botanical illustrator, and divorced mother of two, paints a vivid picture for today’s parents on how to get kids into science using art. Ms. Merian, the subject of today’s Google Doodle, makes the process of engaging kids in science as simple as stopping to sketch the roses, and the aphids as well.
Today we call involving children in science via art a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) program. Merian was probably the very first STEAM-powered parent and others in her field today still emulate her parenting as well as artistic and scientific techniques.
“What made her work unique and important is that she not only illustrated the plants, but the insects as well,” says Wendy Hollender, who once headed up the New York Botanical Gardens’ Botanical Art Program and still teaches there. “Technically her [Merian’s] work was beautiful, but more important, she was really the first to include the insects and their relationship to the plants.”
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