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Peer Review

The Paper Project

by Charles Kazilek


Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 01, 2005 by Teacher Education
Overview: The Paper Project is dedicated to exploring one of the earliest technologies and
art forms, papermaking. Using a scanning-laser confocal microscope, new and
exciting images have been revealed. This site chronicles the process, the
findings, and many of the beautiful images of this exploration. In addition,
educational materials can be found under the Technology section of the web site.
The content blends the world of art and science.
Learning Goals: The major purpose of the Paper Project is to chronicle handmade and paper images
produced by a scanning-laser confocal microscope.

The Arizona Department of Education aligned state academic and teaching
standards in Art, Technology, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science with
the Paper Project. The 2-D and 3-D images along with accompanying web content
present linkages between many disciplines such as: physics, chemistry, biology,
history, visual arts, and
Target Student Population: Teachers, K-post-secondary, can integrate the Paper Project into their various
contents; Art, Technology, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. Art and
students in college would find this site especially pertient to their interests.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: While not required, some background in the science of microscopes and
terminology specific to art are helpful.
Type of Material: The site offers exhibits of final art images, exhibits, articles by individual
artists in the process of paper making, explanations of the scientific use of a
laser confocal microscope in creating the art images. Step by step teaching
lessons, K-12, are available; how to make 3-D glasses, traditional papermaking,
and the history of paper and the microscope.
Recommended Uses: The 2-D and 3-D images are powerful visuals for pre K through university
learners. The site is a a good example for pre-services teachers
on how to develop and teach an integrated curiculum. The vignettes help provide
answers about the science, art, and technology behind the imagery. Curriculum
choice and design can occur in many
ways based on instructor planning. A second objective of the Paper Project is
its community outreach through a tactile, in-person touring art exhibit, a 3-D
immersive installation, and a 3-D dance performance.
Technical Requirements: Free software that can be downloaded and used to make your own paper, or analyze
some of the data images from the Paper Project is available at the site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The Paper Project images and content are anchored in real world art, science and
technology. Instructors should use them as tools to spark curiosity and as an
opportunity to introduce topics in a non-traditional manner. Learners might
journey into paper, explore chemical bonding, investigate the structure of paper
by viewing the images, and pursue the aesthetics of form and shape. The process
of making paper is demonstrated in one of the Paper Project web vignettes and
there is a PDF cookbook on papermaking. Have you ever wondered how paper is held
together? Where is the glue? Virtually all the resources necessary to initiate
these types of explorations are contained on the website, including instructions
and a template for making 3-D glasses. For advanced students free software can
be downloaded and used to build images from some of the actual Paper Project
datasets. The integration of disciplines Art, Technology, Language Arts, Social
and Science. The alignment of Arizona academic and teaching standards with the
Paper Project site makes it easier for K-12 teachers to immediate use and
reference the
site. The range of teaching materials is amazing; the site offers activities
that can
engage learners from elementary to graduate level.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The broad spectrum of disciplines that are encompassed which can be addressed
independent of one another or in an integrated teaching setting. The authors
suggest that it is important to first immerse the learners in the imagery before
them in the science and art content. This allows learners the chance to explore
and raise personal questions, before more formal content is presented.
Instructors should consider the questions they and their students want to
pursue, how the website can best help them do this, and then develop an
appropriate sequence for investigating the Paper Project website. The website
does provide state and national teaching standards addressed by the Project
content. The authors plan to expand on this section to help facilitate the use
of website materials by teachers.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site has a clean, systematic, intuitive organization that is easy to
navigate and explore. Key areas within the site include: overview, technology,
web gallery and exhibits. Each of these four areas have sublinks that are
clear, informative, and model cross-curricular connections.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: