“I really enjoy looking at science with my creative eye.”
“One interesting thing I learned from my project was how the incredible range of motion that the elephant trunk can achieve relates to how engineers improve inventions of their own.”
“Doing art inspires me to have a better life.”
The above quotes are from artist statements written by students at the Willows care and treatment program, a service of Northeast Metro 916. On May 19, Willows and Avanti together celebrated student work in STEAM, (science, technology, engineering, art and math). The event capped a six week project led by Artist in Residence, Kris Gausman, and a STEM unit on biomimicry and natural selection.
STEAM is an emerging, effective, and engaging way to advance students' understanding of key concepts. Through presentations and artist statements, students explained how elements of the natural world advanced their understanding of life science, engineering, and art. Many students shared about how creating the art supported their mental and emotional health.
The event included food, music, and walls filled with artwork in a variety of media such as charcoal, pastels, acrylics, and textured collage. Positive energy filled the space lit by a wall of windows. Students and adults chatted about the works on display, enjoyed a light lunch, and celebrated the fruits studying STEAM.
Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education.