SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 25 to sketch their bridges based on what they had learned, I asked them to keep in mind how much the bridge would cost based on the estimate of the materials needed. The materials we were using were three different sized Popsicle sticks. For our project, the largest cost $100, the medium size one cost $50, and the smallest cost $25. Engineering the Bridge Students incorporated in their draw- ings a bubble map of different types of various textured materials, such as torn bumpy paper, smooth colored paper, thick rough painted Popsicle sticks, or bumpy string that would be used in their designs. Focusing on the specific vocabu- lary of engineering, texture, sym- metry, and positive and negative space, students began the designing portion of their bridge. First, they prepared their paper, creating their backgrounds (negative space) of where their bridges were to be located. Students colored construction paper with oil pastels and cut or tore paper to create the elements they wanted for their bridge environments. Once the background was completed, students built their bridges (positive space) out of the Popsicle sticks and other materials provided, such as string. Finally, students glued down all of their added elements. Post-Assessment Each student evaluated his or her bridge by completing a student rubric handout and wrote an artist state- ment elaborating on the purpose of the design, the pros and cons of con- struction, and the cost of the bridge. Students completed a post assess- ment and did well in understand- ing the content. The final task was for students to present their bridge designs to their peers and explain the cost, design, and function. They were amazed when they compared their estimated costs with the actual cost of the materials. Conclusion Designing bridges as a STEAM les- son worked well for my young stu- dents because it challenged them to problem-solve the construction of their designs as they explored the use of mixed media. Julie Stone is an art teacher at Lincoln Avenue Academy in Lakeland, Florida. julie.stone @ polk-fl.net N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ bridge_types I wanted students to use mixed media to understand bridge design through hands-on manipulation of materials that represent structural strength. Materials • 12 x 18" (30 x 46 cm) construction paper of all colors • multiple colors of scrap construction paper • newsprint • glue • scissors • crimper for texturizing paper • three different sizes of Popsicle sticks • pre-cut 6" (15 cm) string (optional if you do not have Popsicle sticks) • rulers (optional) • oil pastels (optional) • 2 x 6" (5 x 15 cm) corrugated cardboard (optional) Caroline, texture bridge.

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