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Teaching Science and Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Subject Chemistry, interdisciplinary, physics
Level Upper secondary
Language English
Type Article, source of information

There is an increasing demand for an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, but providing inspiring and achievable lessons is no easy task. Chemistry teacher Gianluca Farusi explains how he used two Italian renaissance paintings to delve into chemistry of pigment extraction and the physics of forensics.
This article is an interesting indication of the links between the humanities and the sciences, showing different ways of approaching the topics of electromagnetic waves and dyes.

The protocol for extracting dye is straightforward enough to be carried out in schools and also provides a link to history and botany - as well as an excuse to take a chemistry class outside to search for plants.

The physics-based section describes an interesting way to introduce the idea of the electromagnetic spectrum but is probably more difficult to reproduce in most secondary schools, as it requires specialist equipment. It does, however, provide an interesting link to forensic science and how art forgeries can be identified.

The main difficulty with reproducing the science in this article in many schools would be in obtaining access to the specialist lighting and spectral analysis equipment as well as specific works of art. The article can, however, be used as a source of information or as a topic of discussion. Mark Robertson, UK
Contact details
NameGianluca Farusi


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