My students are already creative thinkers and inventors. With Makey Makey kits and materials, our inventions will become interactive with sound. Imagine building a piano out of tin foil and Play-doh or engineering a game controller that requires your whole body! We could even build a talking town.
In my school, 45% of the students have Limited English Proficiency and 78% of my students are on free or reduced lunch waivers.
Hands-on, interactive projects circumvent language and socio-economic barriers, and provide the confidence to fully participate. The unique experiences in Art Lab connect to students' science and math standards while building technology literacy.
Creative solutions dominate in my art room. My kids come into the art room and learn how to see new perspectives. In our art classes, we use clay, fibers, drawing materials, wire, paint, printmaking, and paper to make art. In Art Lab, we investigate ideas and problems with traditional and non-traditional materials. Sometimes, our art is a physical object and sometimes it is simply documented by students in photographs and videos.
You can see our projects at www.artinventionlab.com and teachers are more than welcome to borrow the lesson ideas that they see.
I want to involve my kids in the design process and producing touch-based interactive projects for the rest of the school to try out.
I have taught video game design and Makey Makey projects in summer camp programs for three years. I've seen the sparks fly when students realize that they can build their own controllers, digital instruments, and talking artwork.
Students will plug the Makey Makey into computers and their projects into the Makey. They learn all about circuits, conductivity, simple programming, and engineering solutions when their circuits "don't work properly."
Kindergarten and 1st Grade students will work collaboratively to discover what materials are conductive. Then we will build class instruments with conductive objects. 2nd-6th grade students will record sounds for their projects, which will include talking communities, colorful pianos inspired by Elizabeth Murray's art, talking 3-D story pages, and masks.
When you're a kid, everyone tells you that your future is full of opportunities and nothing is impossible.
If you have ever been part of a Title 1 school, you know that not every student believes that. These materials will prove to my students that they have the power to do amazing things and may grow a future interest in science, technology, engineering, and art.
Also, I know that these examples and student work shared on www.artinventionlab.com can help other teachers with STEAM education!
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