Students, teachers, staff and parents will now be greeted by a colorful mural when they enter the lobby of Add B. Anderson School in Southwest Philadelphia. The mural project is an example of how our BOOST after-school program is keeping kids engaged in science through the creativity of art.
Middle school students in the BOOST programs at both Add B. Anderson School and William C. Bryant Promise Academy collaborated with the staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Neuroscience and Society to learn how the messages are sent through the brain. Inspired by their experience with Dr. Martha Farah and medical student Claudia Gambrah-Sampaney, BOOST students and their art club instructor, Laurie Shriver, worked together to design and paint a mural based on what they learned.
“All of our thoughts, feeling and actions depend on tiny cells, called neurons, passing information to one another,” Shriver explained. “Everyone our minds do is dependent on the combined firing of billions of neurons in our brained. I absolutely loved this concept for a mural, especially as a design to be placed at the entrance of a school.”
Shriver had the students sketch out images of the brain, the images were then overlapped to create the design and Philadelphia muralist Ben Volta printed the art work onto huge canvasses for the students to paint.
The students worked with their art club instructor paint the canvasses with blues, greens, yellow, and red. The mural was then mounted to wrap around two pillars in Anderson’s lobby for all to see.
“It really took weeks to paint. The hardest part was to paint all the curves,” said 11-year old Jaliyah Moran.
Surrounded by their friends and program staff, the young painters were treated to a celebration and mural dedication at Anderson on April 20.