Twelve students ages 5-12 have been moving full STEAM ahead in our visual arts program at Hope for Us in the Bronx this semester, learning to combine art with science to produce fun and interactive projects.
In our fourth semester with Hope for Us, a program serving a mix of students affected by sickle cell disease and their unaffected peers, Teaching Artist Kali Dinh worked with students to master both artistic and scientific concepts to bring their creations to life. “The best project we’ve done so far were the Sewables,” Kali says, explaining that the project incorporated a variety of artistic skills. “The students learned how to create a pattern, sew, decorate, and stuff their animal plushies. Afterwards, students used conducive thread, a colored LED light, a coin cell battery and a battery holder to create a complete circuit to make their plushies light up!”
Not only did our students come away from this project with a new “friend” of their own making to take home; they also gained a deeper understanding of the ways that art and the STEM fields can work together. “In addition to the sewing skills they’ve learned, they also learned about circuitry, positives, and negatives,” Kali says. Our young artists will surely carry this knowledge—and their light-up plushies—with them far into the future!
Our thanks go out to Kali and our partners at Hope for Us for making our final program such a success, and to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State area for making it possible. Thank you!