Atoms in Art & Culture

Discovery Core Experience: VLPA Course

Atoms in Art and Culture HeaderMay be be taken as either B CORE 104 (VLPA) or B CORE 110 (NW)

60-Second Syllabus: Atoms in Art & Culture

Visual and Literary Arts IconNatural World Icon

About This Course: 

Our inventions are all around us. And we have reinvented ourselves to accommodate them. The clock on our phones dictates the way we spend our time with people. The lights in our cities influence the way we sleep and how fireflies mate. The colors in advertisements guide the way we think about products and people. In this class, we will explore the atoms--the materials--that make up our world and how their properties have affected our culture, art, and history. You will learn how to re-frame scientific concepts into the context of stories. We will communicate our research through comics in which we will draw connections between atoms and art; between materials and culture; between matter and what matters.

Why Should I Take This Course? 

We bake cakes, we make paint, we play with light, we create art, we tell stories. This class lets you explore the objects around us and connects those objects with their effects on our psychology, ecology, history, and art. The class lets you be creative and curious.

Selected Texts & Films:

  • Alchemy of Us by Ainessa Ramirez

Selected Projects & Activities

Explore the interaction of gatorade with light Develop a Comic Book describing the interaction between science and society

Professor Gavin Doyle (He/Him/His)

Headshot of Gavin DoyleAbout Professor Doyle: 

  • JD, Law, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles
  • MFA, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • Certificate in African-American Theatre, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • BA, Biology, Roanoke College
  • BA, Theatre, Roanoke College


"We draw connections between matter and what matters." -Professor Doyle

Dr. Charity Lovitt (She/Her/Hers)

bus-ad-small.jpgAbout Professor Lovitt: 

Dr. Lovitt earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry (Cum Laude, 2003) from Kentucky Wesleyan College and her Ph.D. in Chemistry (2009) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her graduate work spanned many fields, from using computer modeling to understand and predict the outcomes of organometallic reactions to using educational research methods to study the effectiveness of introductory chemistry courses. She continued her work in computational chemistry Fulbright Fellow to Germany in 2008-2009 and postdoctoral fellow at University of North Texas in 2010. Prior to coming to UW Bothell, she taught at Bellevue College and Seattle University.

Dr. Lovitt teaches introductory science courses in chemistry, climate science, and introductory science. Her scholarship emphasis is on fostering engagement in introductory science courses by increasing information literacy and pairing students with community partners. She is a 2015-2016 fellow in Community Based Learning and Research, developing curriculum that engages science students with staff at the Pacific Science Center and Mercer Slough.