Posted on 08/20/2014 at 09:13 AM by Blog Experts

STEM is a hot topic in today’s schools. We want our students to become proficient in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But what about fine arts? If we add an “A” to STEM, it becomes STEAM, and that is what Tricia Fuglestad has done in her art classroom at Dryden Elementary School in Arlington Heights, IL.

Ms. Fuglestad has compiled over 75 project ideas—all of which combine art and technology, and many include science, engineering, and mathematics as well. In a 10-minute video, she explains how to turn STEM to STEAM by sharing the first twelve STEAM projects. The video is titled, Creative Digital Art Projects: Turn STEM to STEAM.

The first three minutes of the video show glimpses of what it is like to be a student of Ms. Fuglestad. The rest of the video explores the actual projects—many of which could be done at the middle and high school levels, as well as at the elementary level. For example, in the first project, students studied “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth. They explored the composition thoroughly, and then entered Christina’s World as themselves, changing the story. They combined their own image with the original on their iPads, and wrote their story, calling it, “Not Christina’s World Any More.”

A second project focused on Edvard Munch’s, “The Scream.” Students used Wordle to describe the painting. Students then posed as they envisioned themselves screaming. Using the Brushes app, students erased the screamer in Edvard Munch’s painting, and replaced it with their own dramatic pose.

“Son of Man” by Rene Magritte was used to inspire another project on healthy choices. Since Magritte painted this piece as a self-portrait, students were encouraged to do the same. They suspended their healthy choice in front of their face, and created their surrealistic version of “Son of Man” on their iPads. There healthy choices varied from healthy foods to healthy activities, such as a sport.

Ms. Fuglestad’s projects are motivating for students, as students are using technology to learn not only about art and art history, but also about themselves. Their use of technology to solve problems and to share their learning with an audience beyond school places these lessons at the high end of rigor and relevance, as well as in AIW (Authentic Intellectual Work) in content knowledge, elaborated communication, and value beyond school.

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