Jailson Lima completed his teaching certificate, BS, MS, and PhD in chemistry from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After teaching in Brazilian high schools and universities for ten years, he joined Vanier College in 2000 and started the Université de Sherbrooke’s Master Teacher Program eight years later. Inspired by the ideas of the Imaginative Education Research Group from Simon Fraser University and by the works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Ken Robinson, Lima decided to explore the use of creativity and imagination within the constraints of the curriculum of Quebec’s CEGEP system.
In 2009, Lima started the Art & Science Project, which uses a cross-disciplinary integration between visual arts and the natural sciences to promote a deeper understanding of the role of models in chemistry by enhancing student engagement, sparking curiosity, and conveying an emotional significance to the material. His pedagogical approach has been presented at both local and international conferences, in journal articles, and on the website of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Lima’s work has caught the attention of universities in both Canada and Germany and continues to evolve through fruitful partnerships and collaborations with them and others.
Lima credits his frustration as a high-school science student as the motivation for exploring the uncharted waters where science and art meet. The lack of excitement and sense of wonder in traditional schools started him on a journey to try to imagine a different kind of learning environment and reinvent his teaching practice from scratch.