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I am fortunate to be at an official STEM certified school with a focus on STEAM! Our kids have enjoyed many STEAM projects in the art classroom, but I think that this might be the favorite! I do this project with 2nd grade, but it could be modified for older grades as well as younger grades. One of the beautiful things about this project is that it allows every student to work to his or her own ability level (thus making it easy to do with different grades, too!). The discussion/introduction to this STEAM project is crucial! Since I am doing this with younger grades on limited time (we are on a 6 day rotation), this is a pretty straightforward experiment and building process project that allows young artists/engineers to experience some great building/creating/problem solving with different materials! If you would like to add the whole STEAM process of image, design, test, modify, ask, repeat (or other variations) over many sessions, you certainly can!
Included in this lesson:
-DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO demonstration of materials (these are actually the instructions that I show to my students, as I consider my role as more of the facilitator in this project rather than the 'step-by-step' teacher)
-Link to same video unlisted on Youtube
-Visual arts standards pulled from www.nationalartsstandards.org
-Materials list (pasted below too)
Glue (Elmer’s Glue-all or Weldbond are two options we’ve tried. Normal Elmer’s school glue does not work well),
Cardboard (8x8 inch square or similar size bases + enough for lots of “building” pieces)
Popsicle sticks (optional for spreading glue)
Containers for glue on tables
Sharpie or pencil for names
Paint (liquid tempera and acrylic work nicely)
Rulers (optional; you can give a “constraint” or “regulation” for height or going outside of the 8 inch square base laterally or older students could use rulers for a lot of measuring within the building process)
There is a whole lot of fun, creating and learning in this STEAM / STEM lesson from the art classroom of Claire Dunaway Cyr! For this STEAM project, the components include Engineering, Math (You can push the math however you would like... angles, measurements, etc. I have my 2nd graders make sure that their sculptures are within certain dimensions and they must determine that with a measurement device) and of course ART!