smArt is an exemplary project unique to Glebe which incorporates science and math learning with art. Each grade creates one smART project per year, which tend to be large-scale and/or collaborative projects. The projects are led by art teachers Stacy Lewis and Lynn Westergren, with assistance from Brooke Jones, smART coordinator.
Here is a glimpse at what students have done for 2016-2017 smART projects:
“smART in Process” was a process-based project that introduced students to different materials and the property of viscosity. Kindergarteners painted with water, drew with sand, and created a class painting using unconventional techniques (scrub brushes, brooms, pouring, and throwing paint).
Science formed the basis of a 2nd Grade smART project where students brought knowledge of metamorphosis of butterflies, frogs, and plants to life in a movement performance titled “Move-A-Morphosis”. Research on iPads was done in the art room, costumes made, and a unique dance performance created by the 2nd Grade students was presented to parents and Kindergartners. Students had the privilege of working with professional dance instructors from Bowen-McCauley Dance.
A basic math premise inspired a 3rd Grade project: Pattern. Students created large-scale radial patterns from natural materials found outdoors in November. In pairs, students created all-over repeating patterns for our cross-walk repeating design challenge. The “winning” design was painted in the main entrance crosswalk by students in the spring. Third graders also created linear patterns through printmaking, using African mud cloth as inspiration (incorporating their social studies learning about Africa).
Mirroring in math is a difficult concept to grasp, so we challenged students to expand their understanding of mirroring in art. Students created a 9×6 inch painting of geometric shapes. Students drew a 1×1 inch grid on the painting as well as a 9×12 inch canvas. Students viewed their painting through a mirror and created beautiful acrylic paintings from the reflection and the original painting.
Installation art was the basis of a smART project where students Skyped with the curator at Rice Gallery at Rice University. They asked valuable questions about the challenges of installation art. Four projects were created and shown in our own “Glebe Art Space” throughout the course of the year. Math was prominent in the creation and installation of each piece. Students will benefit for years to come from the learning by doing, trial and error, and collaboration they experienced creating these projects.