Friday, March 15, 2013

STEAMing Forward

I'm passionate about STEAM.  Not condensating water, but Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  I think it's short-sighted to call for STEM without adding Art into the mix--if you look at Bloom's Taxonomy, it's been revamped, and Creativity is at the top.  The apex.  The penultimate.  It's what we are supposed to be racing toward, spiraling to that self-actualizing goal of creative thinking.  Thinking outside the box.

Where else are you going to find that, than in an Art classroom?  Every day Art teachers challenge their students to think in new ways, solve problems, and find ways around obstacles.  Art class is a soup of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. 

Our first graders got a chance to talk technology recently.  We began with a huge conversation about what I didn't have growing up--no microwave, no cell phone, no Internet or computers in our homes, no dvds, no iPads, iPods, iTouches, iPhones, i-anything!  And oh my, we actually played outside until dark and we didn't like to be indoors.  Go figure.  The First graders were mystified.  Did you have tv?  Did you have indoor plumbing?  Did you have cars?  Take it easy kiddos, I'm not THAT old.  My growing up years sounded like the cave days to them.

But we did get a good chance to talk about the very technologies that have occurred in their lifetimes, like the advent of the iPad and tablets.  We discussed robotic arms that do surgery for doctors and robots that build cars and the role of engineering in all of the cool technology that comes our way every day.  We decided that we liked the robot thing a lot--and that it would be really neat if we had our own personal robots to do things for us.  What if we had a robot who would clean our room for us?  Or take out the trash?  Or clean the kitty litter box?  I wanted a robot to clean up all the Art room messes!  And so we became engineers.

My robot is ready to clean the Art Room.

First, we designed robots in our sketchbooks, and wrote what they did for us.  The next week we came in and talked about technology some more, and how we could use found objects to create a different kind of robot than the one we drew--one that was made from stamping our lines with the found objects.  Below you will find some of the results of our endeavors.  Our first grade engineers really rocked the house with their stamped out bots.  Way to go, First Grade.  Take a look:
Mrs. Maples' class, stamping their robots.
Great job, First Grade Engineers!  We are ready to get our robots working for us. 

1 comment:

  1. Those robots turned out great! I agree with you about STEAM and the importance of placing the arts right up there with math, etc, but I am a little uncertain about calling it that for one reason. At our school, we have the STEM PLC and the Humanities PLC. I do just as much to support the humanties, especially Language Arts, as I do math and science, so I don't really want to merge fine arts with STEM because I want to be a part of both communities, as well as have Fine Arts be respected as its own thing. Hmmmmmm... this has been something I've been thinking about all year... what to do?