Art Can Teach Us

Nov 28, 2022 | News

The OTA project shows that art can teach us chemistry, physics and mathematics. This is demonstrated in the videos produced by the Finnish Science Centre Heureka and filmed in the Finnish National Gallery Ateneum Art Museum. Filmed in front of the classic paintings, scientists share their own perspectives on the artworks. For example, by von Wright’s The Fighting Capercaillies, the topic was the chemistry of love, and by Gallen-Kallela’s The Lamenting Boat it was the chemistry of archeology. These short videos and the related assignments will be provided free of charge specifically for use by chemistry, physics and mathematics teachers.

Ateneum’s coordinator Lene Wahlsten says that while this is not the first time that art has been viewed through the lens of natural sciences, using videos of scientists as the core study material is a novel approach.

“These scientists approach our collection from new perspectives, opening up different ways of interpretation,” Lene Wahlsten says. “This project is a good fit for us also because it reflects the importance of improving accessibility as a part of today’s museum work. As a digital project, OTA does exactly that. Hopefully this project will also encourage people to explore our online art collection.”

In November 2021, new OTA project videos will be filmed in Ateneum, and this time they will be created by film students from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

“It’s wonderful that our museum can offer a place for young people to do practical training,” Lene Wahlsten says. “Hopefully this will be an inspiring setting for them to test out their skills. Perhaps they will become the movers and shakers of tomorrow whom we will be working with in the future. This is another way that the OTA project core idea is realised: you truly can learn through art!”

 Heureka is a Finnish science centre where you can learn about science and technology in a fun and engaging way in an interactive hands-on environment. 300,000 visitors experience the joy of discovery annually. The visitors can explore interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and events, as well as various learning materials. As a part of the Erasmus+ funded OTA project, Heureka will produce videos and study materials designed for online learning for schools to use free of charge. More information can be found at

Ateneum is an art museum located in the heart of Helsinki, and is a part of the Finnish National Gallery. Its collection includes some of Finland’s most beloved artworks such as The Fighting Capercaillies by von Wright, and Gallen-Kallela and Schjerfbeck’s works. One of the ways in which Ateneum seeks to improve accessibility is by providing online resources that can be found at: