Monday, April 27, 2015

Math + Art = Awesome! Project Explore Flynn Elementary

Second graders in the Spring session of Project Explore have been demonstrating their math and measurement skills through drawing, hammering, painting, and winding string. You are probably familiar with this classic in the world of art+math projects:

Didn't everyone doodle these in the corners of their lined school notebooks?
But not only can these touch on concepts of measurement and plotting on axes, but can of course get into op-art illusions (and therefore artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley) and 3-dimensional drawing. What made this project particularly awesome was taking this flat, paper rendering into the realm of sculpture by making it out of nails as plot points and string as pencil lines.

Boom. String art taken to a while new level.  And made by an eight year old.

This was not a small challenge. Students created their own design using the skills they had learned, drew it, hammered in dozens of nails, whacked their thumbs, painted their work, and only then began the string.  Which caught on the nails. And unraveled if it wasn't held taut. And had to be tied, over and over again.
I see giant crashing waves at sunset. What so you see?
There was lots of frustration, a fair amount of pouting, and finally that tremendous glow of success at making something about which students were really quite proud.

Can you see the symmetry?
We hung the works next to each other, for the connection to be made most visible.

Part of this program that is really cool is how much the students learn from one another. I step back early in the process, and tend to ask students more questions than I will answer, specifically to encourage them to use one another as resources.

This artwork is on display in the Flynn Learning Center until the end of the school year. 
Come see it!

While you are there, on permanent display is this first grade art+math project from a few years ago, combining multiplication, gridding, pattern, and art techniques to create this tiled mosaic.

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