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Abstract

This research paper explores art integration into a science lesson unit that follows the Next Generation Science Standards (K-PS2-1) and focuses on the effects on memory retention of key concepts along with levels of enjoyment. An experiment was conducted with children ages 3 and 4 teaching scientific concepts about gears while incorporating student-made art products. The children were assigned to alternating experimental (art-integrated) or control (no art) conditions during the four stages of the lesson. The results did not show statistically significant differences at the alpha = 0.05 level between conditions in the amount of information retained based on the pretest, posttest, and distal posttest. However, there were overall knowledge gains for both conditions demonstrated by the gain scores. It appeared that incorporating arts into the curriculum can be beneficial for children, including those of diverse cultural backgrounds, as it provides a more enjoyable learning environment. Arts integration can also facilitate the construction of children’s schema of gears which later may ease the learning of more complex concepts related to motion, stability, forces, and interaction.