School Residency: Robots, gadgets & STEAM

I’m wrapping up a monthlong school residency project at Claysville, Pennsylvania.  The project, a vision of Claysville art teacher Michelle Urbanek, involved experimentation and discovery in a studio atmosphere blending art and technology.  Over the course of the month, I worked with eighty fourth graders as they participated in teams to build inventions.  An initial challenge involved using toy motors and found materials to make gadgets that move and draw.  We then introduced a library of littleBits electronics, including motion sensors, light sensors, wireless transmitters and an assortment of circuit bending sound components.  Students then worked in groups to create prototypes of their ideas. Project supporters included the Sprout Fund (Spark Award) and the PCA Artists in Schools & Communities program.  More images will be posted on my COMMUNITY page.

An example sketch for a robot idea.

An example sketch for a robot idea.

Students sketching circuit ideas using littleBits components.

Students sketching circuit ideas using littleBits components.

As student setting a robotic vehicle to motion.

A student setting a robotic vehicle to motion.

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