Visual Viruses: The Use of Three-Dimensional Models to Understand Human Viral Infections (PHOTOS)

Here at HuffPost Arts we are big fans of looking at scientific data through an aesthetic lens; for this reason, we tend to appreciate scientific models not just for the information they pass on but the forms they create. That is why we are particularly excited about the project "Adventures in the Human Virosphere: The Use of Three-Dimensional Models to Understand Human Viral Infections", in which Stanford undergraduates created colorful models of human viruses including herpes, papilloma and polio by using everyday materials.

Yet the models are far from textbook representations. Made of pasta, glitter and Play-Doh, the forms break with the conventional association of science and seriousness. There is a strange symmetry between the scientific representations and folk art in the images below. The models look more like whimsical monsters than biological replicas, while still providing insight into the structure of the viruses. We think these folksy representations would encourage any student to spend a bit more time examining infectious diseases in school.

The exhibition is part of the course "Humans and Viruses", taught by Stanford Associate Professor Robert Siegel. It will show from April 11 until October at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

What do you think of this creative lesson plan? Let us know your thoughts.