Full STEAM ahead: Students blend science and art during Innovation Center field trip

Samiria Lucas, Staff Writer

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 The 8th-grade students enrolled in STEM and art attended a field trip at the district’s Innovation Center on September 10.  The initiative is called STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.  Students built a model of a wooden catapult using standard tools then used them to launch paint-covered pom poms at a canvas.  Students also engaged in a virtual paint program using the virtual reality (VR) headsets and made pop art images of one of their teachers using a graphics program on the computer. 

Pop Art of Mr. Carlson by Morgan Lender and Brielle Bican

Mrs. McGarry, who facilitated the field trip, stated that the purpose of the trip was for students to use equipment at the Mayfield Innovation Center that they can’t use here at MMS to build and design artwork.

STEM teachers Mr. Stephens and Mrs. Williams attended the trip and facilitated the students as they moved through stations to complete the activities.

Art teacher Mrs. Vokic had her art students take the paint-splattered papers created by the catapult launchings and turn them into pictures using markers and pens to enhance something they saw in the splatters.

STEM student Betsy Wiener stated that building the catapult and launching the poms  was her favorite part because it was very hands-on. She said that she was glad that they were able to explore and be curious.

Another student, Jasdeep Singh, stated his favorite part was the virtual reality because it enabled him to interact with his drawing experience. “It was as if you could make your own reality and create,” he said.  He said that the transitions between activities were quick and smooth.

For Kellen McAllister, her favorite was building the catapult. She enjoyed using the power tools like the drill and hot glue gun. She wished the stations were longer so that she could have finished her pop art. 

Thomas Marshal and Anthony Santoro also said their favorite part was building. Santoro liked the hands-on work and “felt like a mechanic.” Like McAllister, he wished their time there was even longer. Marshall said the field trip was fun and added, “I love using my hands.”