Joe Hedges.
Amy Nielsen.

Amy Nielsen, clinical assistant professor of chemistry, and Joe Hedges, assistant professor and coordinator in the Dept. of Fine Arts, are developing a new course in which students will learn the chemical origins of color perception and create painting projects from pigments they have synthesized themselves in the laboratory.

Their project, “Chemistry and Art: Exploring the Painted Surface,” uses lecture, lab, and studio venues to foster students’ formation of a tactile link between chemistry and painting. It also looks at the evolution of colored pigments from natural ones used in cave paintings to the development and industrial synthesis of modern chemical pigments in the 20thcentury and beyond.

Nielsen and Hedges are among 15 WSU faculty members on three campuses pursuing eight projects to improve undergraduate education, thanks to funding from the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment.

Since 2000, the endowment has provided support for dozens of faculty-initiated ventures that focus on enhancing the education of students. Thousands of learners at WSU have benefitted directly or indirectly from scores of innovative ideas to transform pedagogy and curricular issues.

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