Ms. Johnson’s 8th graders are gathering for art class. They collect their pastels and charcoals, their graphite sticks and Strathmore sketchpads. But today, instead of the fake-fruit basket that’s been collecting dust since summertime, Ms. Johnson pulls out a biology textbook. “I want you to pick one thing in here to illustrate,” she says. “It can be anything — a chloroplast or a reptile, mitosis or evolution. But here’s the catch: You have to cover up the picture in the book and just use your imagination. What color would your ribosome be? How would you show out-of-Africa? Imagine that you’ve never before seen the double helix…Could you sketch some DNA?” This scenario may sound far-flung, but it’s just what American school kids need, if you ask the scientists, artists, educators, business leaders, and policy makers gathering this week in Washington DC for The Art of Science Learning.