The Green School of the Future
combines architectural design with mathematical skills of measurement, scale, and geometry. Students learn about alternative energy resources, sustainable landscape design, and new building materials working with an architect. Then students blend functional and creative design and build a model of their green school using materials from ArtStart’s ArtScraps.
TOPS is the historical, cultural, and scientific study of the toy top with instrument maker and composer Douglas Ewart. Based on his nationally acclaimed project “Sonic Tops” in which he creates toy tops from all sorts of discards that spin, Ewart works with students to create their own tops. Together with a professor from the Physics Department of the University of Minnesota in a hands-on presentation, the concepts of force, torque, rotation and more come alive. The residency concludes with students spinning their tops as part of an improvisational music piece led by Ewart.
Artistic Migration: Birds of the Mississippi River Flyway is a collaboration with Audubon Minnesota. This residency builds on physiology, biology and river ecology. The residency begins with a classroom visit for 1 to 2 days by Audubon Minnesota outreach staff in which students learn about endangered species of birds and climate change. Students then select their favorite bird to further research with the classroom teacher. The visual artist leads students in the creation of a bird pole puppet, headpiece, or mask using a variety of materials. Birds can be suspended from the ceiling around the school and displayed with the research reports.
reinforces biology—life cycles—and ecology concepts while addressing stresses on Minnesota’s native bee populations or Monarch butterflies. The artist skillfully weaves the art and science of bees and/or Monarch Butterflies into her/his instruction. Students create scientifically correct bee houses as wearable art with the artists or Monarch wings and headpieces.
River EcoJourneys is the study of water and its importance to all living things. Students identify the river nearest their school and learn about water quality, issues of pollution, pollution solutions, and river habitat. Students research a specific animal family such as amphibians, mammals, fish, etc that inhabit the river system and create an interactive painted or mosaic mural using connectivity technology. The mural becomes a teaching tool when student research is recorded and played back when the animal is touched by an onlooker.
The Art of Plastics addresses issues impacting our world and quality of life. The artist skillfully integrates statistical information about the issue of plastic pollution. Students collect plastics and together with a visual
artist reuse the plastic in creative small group installations.