What happens when you mix 32 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga criminal justice students and 55 University High juniors?
They paint with a purpose, of course.
On Friday, Nov. 10, the college and high school students came together for a day-long collaboration called “Pouring for Purpose: Building Pathways to Ethics and Equity,” a pour-painting project and community gallery event at the UTC Challenger STEM Learning Center.
UTC Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Katelyn Hancock organized the event.
“It went really well,” Hancock said. “I thought that it might be a bit more chaotic than it was, but my students seemed to do a good job with the lesson they gave them before they started painting.
“A lot of (the University High students) told their staff that they really enjoyed it and were like, ‘Are the students from her class going to come back and talk to us another time?’ So I think they had a good time.”
University High is a partnership between UTC and Hamilton County Schools. The University High students, whose classes take place on the UTC campus where their school is headquartered, are enrolled in college-level courses taught by UTC faculty and directly supported by high school courses taught by HCS teachers.
In the morning, Hancock said the criminal justice students talked to the high school juniors about what an ethical dilemma was, sharing examples related to police courts or corrections that they had written in an activity in her course.
“They were showing them how they could resolve those dilemmas with the color key that they had made,” she said, “and applied an ethical system to that dilemma in those decisions.
“Then they got to paint their paintings based on their color key,” creating a wide range of hand-poured paintings for display.
The event was open to the public in the afternoon, with representatives from various organizations in the Chattanooga community coming to the Challenger STEM Learning Center to create their own unique canvas paintings. Cash donations for the student paintings were requested in exchange for taking a painting, with all proceeds raised benefiting the Chattanooga Hamilton County Family Justice Center.
“I think my students enjoyed it. They all had smiles on their faces and had a lot of positive things to say,” Hancock said. “They stayed around for quite a while to help all day long, too, so they were great.”
“Pouring for Purpose: Building Pathways to Ethics and Equity” was sponsored by a High Impact Practices Grant from UTC’s Walker Center for Teaching and Learning and a Professional Development Grant from UTC’s Division of Access and Engagement.