Schools Going Green Workshop, Sunnyvale & Cupertino

I was invited by Jackie Davison, Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Environmental Services Department in Sunnyvale to teach a workshop for middle school and high school students at Fair Oaks Park. I brought some trash collected on the beach in Santa Cruz and trash collected during a coastal cleanup. Jackie Davison brought trash collected around the schools.

The students who came are organizing School Go Green clubs in their schools, which is really awesome! They are interested in techniques to spread the word about recycling, consuming less plastic.

I proposed to them a technique they can apply to posters (image + message).

– Students work on a flexible composition with elements – in this case trash (no glue)
– they take a photo
– they upload the photo in  the app. PicCollage (free) and add text
– they save the version of the poster
– they can change the composition and/or the text and save another version of their poster, etc.
It is a great exercise, where multiple versions can be save, elements and text can be changed. The posters can be share on social media.

I am interested to further this collaboration and teach this workshop on campus with these awesome motivated students!

The Water Project featured at ArtSplash 2015 at Montalvo Arts Center

The Water Project was featured during ArtSplash, at Montalvo Arts Center. The Plastic Monster is made of nearly 500 plastic jugs and plastic water bottles that the kids, some friends of mine and I gathered at home. They contained milk or juice. The students were surprised by the amount they gathered. Knowing that in the end only a small percentage of plastic we consume is recycled and that tons of it goes to the ocean.

THE WATER PROJECT: ARTS INTEGRATION IN 2ND GRADE / 3. Data Visualization with Dots

A simple Data Visualization of the amount of water we “eat” compared at the amount of water we use every day at home. And we also compared the differences between the amount needed to grow/produce different foods and the differences between the amount of water needed to do different things at home.

Arts integration into the 2nd grade math and science curriculum. We used a base-ten to count the gallons of water.
One blue dot = one gallon of water. one square sheet is 12″x12″.
Lesson plan here.

Data source:
http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/change-the-course/water-footprint-calculator/
http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/productgallery
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/food-water-footprint_n_5952862.html

The Water Project
– Exercise 1: Posters about the Watershed and the drought
– Exercise 2: Watercolors of the Bay Area

The WATER PROJECT: Arts Integration in 2nd grade / 2. Watercolors From the Bay Area

Watercolors from the Bay Area is about understanding the variety of our waterscapes (Pacific coast, creeks, delta, bay, wetlands) through observation of a photo (each student studies a different document). In the end, the class has a discussion about the diversity of the amazing waterscapes we have in our region. The occasion for the children to think about asking their parents to go see these waterscapes if they do not know them already. They are important and fragile eco-systems we need to protect and care for. This exercise is great to open up the dialogue about the importance of water in our lives.

Watercolors from the Bay Area is about understanding the variety of our waterscapes (Pacific coast, creeks, delta, bay, wetlands) through observation of a photo (each student studies a different document). In the end, the class has a discussion about the diversity of the amazing waterscapes we have in our region. The occasion for the children to think about asking their parents to go see these waterscapes if they do not know them already. They are important and fragile eco-systems we need to protect and care for. This exercise is great to open up the dialogue about the importance of water in our lives.

For this exercise we use watercolor inks.

Lesson plan here.
Posters about the Watershed and the Drought – lesson plan here.

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THE WATER PROJECT: Arts Integration in 2nd Grade / 1. Posters/Flyers

Arts Integration is a great way for the children to experiment with art in conjunction with what they are learning in other subjects. And here the theme being “water”, it touches all aspects of the curriculum: language arts, science, social studies and mathematics.

The Water project [10 sessions] is planned for 2nd graders but can be adapted for upper grades. The introduction to the project is here.
Session 1 and 2: Making a poster/flyer with an iPad: Understanding the watershed.
This exercise is about making a poster to preserve the watershed. The students use the information they learned about preventing water pollution and conserving water during the presentation by the Environmental Services Department specialist.
Folder with the lesson plan, the power point and more document is here.

The Water Project, an arts integration project across the curriculum with Montalvo Arts Center at Village Elementary, 2nd grade

the_water_project_mozaic_smallThis project is implemented for the first time at Village Elementary and was created in conjunction with the 2nd grade teachers Elizabeth Shepherd and Chris Woods. In the context of the severe drought that California is going through this 10 session project proposes to study different aspects of water and to sensitize students to the importance of water in many aspects of their lives. During the ten weeks, students learn about water through Science, Social Science and Language Arts with their teachers. They learn about the water cycle, the weather, especially clouds, make inquiry charts, read poems, engage in reading (for example The Important Book about Water) and have class discussions about drought and water conservation.  The students are able to define groundwater and surface water and recognize examples of each, understand where their water comes from, and make their own water wells.

In the arts integration program the students use different techniques like drawing, watercolor, digital exploration, video, writing, and construction. They use an array of tools and materials, like oil pastels, iPads, watercolor inks, soil, pebbles, sand, and recycled plastic containers. The students work individually on some of the exercises, such as the watercolors, and collaborate on others, like when they build the Plastic Monster.

During the first session, Anthony Ortega (West Valley Clean Water Program) presents the concept of a watershed and how our actions/ choices can impact our environment, both positively and negatively.  Then I introduce the ten-session projects with a short presentation, without revealing the different exercises along the journey on which we are about to embark.

MAKING A POSTER-FLYER WITH AN IPAD: UNDERSTANDING THE WATERSHED
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Where does our water come from? and where does it goes? The students use the information they learned about preventing water pollution and conserving water to make their own poster using a poster app on their iPads.
Post about this exercise here.

The other five other topics in this curriculum are:

WATERCOLORS FROM THE BAY AREA: UNDERSTANDING THE VARIETY OF OUR WATERSCAPESwater_project_waterscapes_small

Each student studies/observes a different photograph of a waterscape:  Pacific coast, creeks, delta, bay, wetlands. In the end, the class has a discussion about the diversity of the waterscapes and their features. For this exercise we use a traditional technique.
Post about this exercise here.

DATA VISUALIZATION: UNDERSTANDING OUR WATER CONSUMPTIONwater_project_data_visualization_01_smallwater_project_data_visualization_02_small

The majority of the water we use is hidden is what we eat. How Much water do we really use daily? When do we use water the most? The students will work in group to create data visualization to understand the different amounts of water needed to grow/produce different food.  In this exercise, the students use graphic design basics to represent data.
Post about this exercise here.

THE PLASTIC MONSTER: UNDERSTANDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR PLASTIC CONSUMPTION/MAKING A COLLECTIVE SCULPTURE AS AN ART STATEMENTwater_project_plastic_monster_small

The plastic pollution in the oceans is extremely important and is a growing problem for many marine species. We need to reduce our plastic consumption and to better recycle. The students gathered the plastic containers they used at home. With all the containers, they are creating a Plastic Monster. The students work in groups, they have to engineer the monster, think about ways to attach the containers together. In the end the groups attach the different parts together.

MAKING A TERRARIUM: UNDERSTANDING THE WATER CYCLE

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Each student build her/his own terrarium in a one gallon glass jar with gravel, charcoal, soil and small house plants and creates a composition with plants, rocks and small pieces of wood. The terrarium is almost closed (the lid is not tightened), it needs to be watered once when it is built, then the plants create its own water cycle. Technique: mini-landscaping, eco-art.

WRAPPING UP: WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF WATER : UNDERSTANDING THAT WATER IS INTERCONNECTED WITH EVERYTHING
This exercise concludes our project about water. Students can work individually or in group, they chose the subject they want to talk about and create a short video, with text and sound. After weeks on working on water, they decide the important message they want to convey to their fellow students, parents and beyond. This exercise can be shared on online platforms like WATERWHEEL and on websites specialized on water-related topics. It engages students as young citizens and empowers them to start thinking now about the future of their planet. This exercise uses video as an art form, where students can experiment with images and sound.

montalvoarts.org

Waterwheel Symposium with the 4th and 5th grade students presenting their projects about water

March 21, Cumberland Elementary, Sunnyvale, CA.
The student from a 4th and 5th grade combo class presented two projects about water during the WATERWHEEL World Water Day online symposium. Waterwheel is a platform where scientists, artists and youth from around the world share their studies, art work and thoughts about water.

4th and 5th grade Students presenting a series of waterscapes from around the Bay area.

The series is about waterscapes around the Bay Area: the Pacific coast and the San Francisco Bay.
See lesson about California Landscapes here:

Part I – Drawing.
Part II – Watercolor.

4th and 5th grade students presenting a series of posters made on their iPads with the app PosterMaker.

The series is about water conservation awareness in the midst of the severe drought California is going through right now.
See how to make posters with Poster Maker here.
Waterwheel platform here.

Campbell Union School District STEAM Conference

March 21st, 2014 – Rolling Hills Elementary School, Campbell, CA.

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My presentation:
STEAM content area: Sciences
Sciences and Art through Close Observation: We are Artist-Naturalists!
Making the best use of the resources we have in our immediate environment and creating a journey for the students in which they become enthusiastic artist-scientists, connecting with nature by observation of its infinite diversity. A new look at the students’ environment – the mundane becomes extraordinary.

Outcomes:
During my presentation the participants are actively engaged. After the presentation the teachers have the information and the necessary skills to take action and engage with their students in feasible art-imbued-with-science exercises and the desire to grow their knowledge. In the future, the participants are welcome to email me with questions to continue the dialogue.

Target audience: Elementary teachers
Handout link here.