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Chemist Jennifer Hines to present “Molecules … Museum … ACTION!” at Nov. 18 Science Café

Emily Mueting | Nov 12, 2015
Ohio University Professor Jennifer Hines.
Ohio University Professor Jennifer Hines. Photo credit: Emily Mueting/Ohio University.


Like a documentary film director on the set of a motion picture, Ohio University chemistry professor Jennifer Hines knows the value of purposeful movement and good blocking. At her Science Café, Hines will collaborate with dancers who will act as human-sized molecules on the stage to describe scientific concepts of her research and properties related to the basic building blocks of life.

Combining chemistry concepts with performance art has become an effective learning tool used in schools, children’s museums, performance halls and other public places. Hines has invited a troupe of young dancers from Factory Street Studio, a local dance school, to participate in her Science Café talk at 5 p.m. on Wed., Nov. 18 in the Baker Center Front Room.

Hines believes that by combining arts with the sciences, concepts are better understood by audiences and students of all ages. Hines advocates adding art to critical subject areas such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The idea of adding an “A” for arts to STEM is known as STEAM.

“You have your chemistry class and you have your art class but you don’t always have the chance to see the connection between them,” Hines said.

In the Renaissance period of western culture, students studied both scientific and artistic subjects with equal fervor Hines explained. “We need to find novel ways to bring these disciplines together in order to promote fresh scientific and artistic insights for the 21 st century,” she said.

Science Cafés are part of Ohio University’s Café Series, Wednesdays at the Baker Center Front Room. The series provides a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty presenters, staff and the Athens community. Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions will win a free t-shirt.

The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division and Sigma Xi.

Learn more! Watch the new 1-minute Café Series video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8IBC6nS4Ag

For a link to the live stream of the event and for a full schedule of fall semester speakers, visit http://www.ohio.edu/sciencecafe