Trash to Treasure at the Pines
STEM is an acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools, to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. The acronym arose in common use around 1998. In 2009, the term was expanded to include the Arts in education and STEAM was born.
STEAM fields are science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. STEAM is designed to integrate STEM subjects into various relevant disciplines in education. These programs aim to teach students to think critically and have an engineering or technology and imaginative, design, or creative approach towards real-world problems while building on students’ mathematics and science base. STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions.
Pines Elementary School Art Teacher Elisabeth Anziano noticed that with the popularity of on-line shopping, households are being bogged down with cardboard boxes. Ms. Anziano saw this a wonderful opportunity to teach her students many valuable lessons in the school’s STEAM program. She initiated a "Trash to Treasure" unit to teach students to Recycle, Re-use, Re-purpose discarded cardboard materials in an Art design process.
Students were introduced to a new trend in the culinary arts called deconstructing. That is where chefs will separate (deconstruct) all the ingredients in a popular recipe and then re-construct those ingredients into a creative new dish.
The 4th grade Art and Music classes have been busy collaborating and turning Cardboard into images of “sweet music.” Art Teacher Ms. Anziano, Music Teacher Ms. Theresa Wray-Dolgin and Band and Orchestra Teacher Ms. Tracey DeRose are inspiring students to think three dimensionally and conceptually about what music means to them. Short written notes are placed on musical notes. 3D musical notes, singer silhouettes, and musical instruments have been cut from recycled cardboard. Students were inspired by the Pablo Picasso, Cubist de-construction of a guitar. The Pines custodial staff brought cardboard from the school cafeteria, office and classrooms. It is noticeably making an impact on students’ understanding of how much cardboard is discarded in one day.
The Art Design Process curriculum offers new creative projects through STEAM as students work collaboratively. Each student uses their STEAM strengths and the design process to help in designing, measuring, cutting, constructing and discussing project.
Pines 4th graders, inspired by Picasso, cut cardboard to create three dimensional renderings of musical instruments. It was not long before beautiful renditions of guitars, microphones, saxophones, and flutes began to take shape.
Students in 1st and 2nd grades created interactive “marble runs” from paper towel tubes brought in from home. 3rd grade artists are creating cardboard mugs in creative artistic designs.
Kudos to the Pines’ learning team on another innovative way to teach.