The Michelson Museum of Art has kicked off its free summer art classes, offering bilingual arts, painting, STEM projects and more.

“We’re trying more and more every year to combine science and art,” said Bonnie Strauss, education coordinator.

Last week the museum offered bilingual arts and music classes to ages 6 to 9. This week ages 8 to 11 are learning a colorful lesson about birds. Strauss said the classes coincide with the museum’s current exhibit “Birds in Art,” which is an internationally-renowned exhibition organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.

The Michelson will feature the avian art now through July 3. According to exhibition organizers, the display celebrates avian marvels through new interpretations — in an array of mediums, including oil, watercolor, the graphic arts, bronze, stone and others. A closing reception for the exhibit at Michelson will be 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20.

“It’s all about birds and art. There are so many bird watchers and people that love seeing the birds,” Strauss said of the exhibit’s popularity.

On Monday, the young Picassos integrated math into their artwork by using a yard stick to measure the wing span of birds they made, using rolls of receipt paper. The artists also created nests using a form of clay donated by a local business, Activa Products.

“It’s a science (lesson) and engineering with the building of a nest,” instructor Jodi Beavers said, noting the nests are a tribute to the Cliffside Nursery oil on canvas painting in the “Birds in Art” exhibit. The piece depicts the unique way the industrious cliff swallows build their nests.

“We looked at the exhibit and made a bird’s nest out of products from Activa and formed it around a balloon,” Beavers said.

She said on Tuesday they plan to make a clay flamingo, using a flamingo painting from the bird exhibit as their muse. On Wednesday they plan to make an owl reflection, inspired by the Quantum Hubie artwork that was created in the exhibition, using charcoal, ink and composition gold.

“The drawing is with charcoal, but the background is paint,” explained Beavers. “We’re going to use foil.”

For Thursday’s class, they plan to do a watercolor of a parrot.

“We’re learning the parts of birds and parts of a feather,” said Beavers.

Strauss said in last week’s classes, taught by Audrey Lozano, the students sang about colors and learned songs in Spanish.

“Both classes did something they didn’t know they could do,” she said.

She encourages parents to check out the museum’s website for the full schedule of free summer classes for various age groups.

“They can go to our website, www.michelsonmuseum.org, and see if there are any openings,” said Strauss. “If they want to be on a waiting list, they can call the museum.”

Instructors are Audrey Lozano, Jodi Beavers, Todd Camplin, Diane Jones, Michelle Nilumandrad, Steve Sheneman and Sarah Loyd.