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Photo by Jill Pelto

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JIll Pelto


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Art

Resource Types

  • Artwork
  • Article

Regional Focus

Global, Europe

"Winter Sediment Coring"

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  • This watercolor painting depicts two female scientists taking a sediment core from a frozen lake in Norway.
  • This piece beautifully connects art and science in a way that will inspire.
Teaching Tips


  • This artwork is visually engaging and beautifully composed.
  • Several important discussions can be launched from viewing this artwork, including ones about women in STEM, scientific approaches, and the importance of art to spread awareness. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should consider how this artwork could be incorporated into their lessons, as it has many possibilities.


  • Art students can use this resource to observe shading, highlights, fine details, and monochromatic coloring schemes. 
  • This piece would make an excellent component in a gallery walk activity. Post several pieces of scientific art by Jill Pelto around the room for students to observe and discuss. Students can leave their comments and ideas on post-it notes near the pieces, then respond to other's comments, too. 
  • Have students read more about Jill Pelto on her website and discuss in groups the purpose of her work and why she might have created this specific piece.
  • As an extension, have students research another aspect of scientific work and depict it in an artistic piece of their own.
  • This artwork could be used as a hook for lessons about the gender bias in the sciences, decomposition, limnology, aquatic ecology, or paleoclimatology.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a piece of artwork by Jill Pelto, an artist who uses her art to communicate science, mostly about climate change, and inspire people to act. The image is the first painting in a series of five depicting how a team of five scientists conduct their field work. Specifically, this image shows two scientists taking a sediment core from a lake and the description gives a brief explanation of the science. The information presented is accurate. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
      • HS-LS2-3 Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.1.Ia Hypothesize ways in which art influences perception and understanding of human experiences.
      • VA:Re7.1.3a Speculate about processes an artist uses to create a work of art.
      • VA:Re7.2.4a Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA:Re8.1.4a Interpret art by referring to contextual information and analyzing relevant subject matter, characteristics of form, and use of media.
      • VA:Re8.1.IIa Identify types of contextual information useful in the process of constructing interpretations of an artwork or collection of works.
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