The goal of the project proposed by Mrs. Vecchioni is innovation: looking beyond maker spaces to develop The Maker Mindset. The Maker Mindset is a growth mindset – it is about seeing the possibility in a given problem or set of materials, it is about taking risks and not being afraid to fail. The maker (or DIY) movement is rooted in design thinking, inquiry-based learning and experimentation, which is why it serves as the foundation for our school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) initiative and expansion of our arts integration model. As an introduction to each maker experience, students will learn about unique self-taught artists that considered themselves makers.
This award allows us to give students unique maker experiences centered around student choice, through collaboration with internal and external partners. By creating maker fieldwork experiences in each of the five STEAM disciplines, we are giving students an opportunity to choose their own learning and define creativity for themselves. Our collaborators include local artists, educators, designers, playworkers, scientists and engineers.
- Science: Students will explore Walking Stick Woods with playworkers from our partner organization Fraternal Forest to create ephemeral artworks in outdoor natural environments and construct site-specific installations using natural and found materials.
- Technology: Students will visit our own Makerspace, Leonardo’s Workshop, to explore and combine old technology with the new, such as shadow puppetry, film making and digital comics. Students will work individually or in teams on their passion projects and publish their creations.
- Engineering: We will partner with The Laboratory (where “Science Meets Story”) and students are encouraged to “predict the future by creating it.” Students will have the opportunity to explore science through language arts (for example, focusing on favorite literary characters such as Harry Potter to create LED magical wands).
- Art: Students will learn a soft sculpture artform from Della Wells, a well-known self-taught textile artist, at the gallery workspace of Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. They will experience a docent-led exhibit tour as a catalyst to their artmaking. Students will discuss how artists are important parts of the social fabric of their community and create a Community Hero fabric sculpture.
- Mathematics: Through partnership with PowerUp Tech Academy, students will work with software such as Scratch and Vector to create coding and gaming experiences that apply mathematics to original designs and digital storyboards. This experience will create a link between artistry and mathematics as a real-world example of college and career readiness for the 21st century.
We will launch this project on Tuesday, April 10, with a visit from Della Wells, and we encourage you to ask your children what field experiences their classes voted on! All classes will collect a set of defined artifacts from their fieldwork experiences, which will be used in our final exhibition, open to the community on June 14.