KCAD’s 2016 ArtPrize Education Days Program Offers Hands-On Learning for Grades 3-12

Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University is continuing its longstanding advocacy of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education with its 2016 ArtPrize Education Days programming.

During ArtPrize Eight at KCAD, students in grades 3-12 will have the opportunity to engage in a creative problem solving activity focused on balance and stability, both visual and physical, that will help them to identify and appreciate the relationship between art, design, and science.

A transdisciplinary committee including KCAD faculty Molly Alicki-Corriveau (Illustration), Tom Edwards (Industrial Design), Bill Fischer (Digital Media), Kristen Morrison (Art Education), Donna St. John (Art Education), Mariel Versluis (Printmaking), and Brad Yarhouse (Digital Media) as well as students Andrea Oosterhouse (Art Education), Grace Springsteen (Art Education), and Abbie Ziolkowski (Digital Media) have been working for the better part of a year to develop the Balancing STEAM lesson plan, which blends National Core Arts Standards with integrated standards in science, technology, and math.

“Educational progress should not be assessed by the amount of information that a student can process, but instead as the astute ability to creatively synthesize seemingly disparate ideas in order to solve global problems in a collaborative way, with the realization that our entire existence is co-dependent,” said St. John.

Participants will first be introduced to artists whose work focuses on balance. They’ll then work collaboratively to create sculptures that exhibit both aesthetic and structural balance while also reflecting the balance in their own lives.

“The activity invites students to analyze balance in science and the arts. As part of the assignment students will consider the balance of elements in their own lives, such as family, friends, social media, and school, and evaluate if they have a healthy balance or if they need to rethink where they are putting their time and energy,” said Morrison.

The finished sculptures will be displayed on pedestals in a mass installation in the atrium of KCAD’s 17 Fountain St. NW building. In conjunction with KCAD’s partnership with Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids for ArtPrize Eight, all of the sculptures will be constructed using reclaimed materials, and they will be deconstructed and repurposed as still life objects for students to use once ArtPrize is over.

“Art defines culture, inspires empathy, generates creative thinkers, and drives innovation. At ArtPrize, we believe that art is not extra-curricular – it is essential. And we fully support the STEAM approach to education,” noted Becca Guyette, ArtPrize Education Manager. “KCAD’s 2016 ArtPrize Education Days programming aligns perfectly with this approach, and we’re thrilled to work with such a great partner once again.”

In the weeks leading up to ArtPrize Eight, faculty from KCAD’s Art Education program have been visiting area schools to generate advanced interest in the sessions. Participating teachers will be given post-session analysis and activities to do with their students.

The schedule of sessions for grades 3 through 6 is as follows:

Sept. 22

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The schedule of sessions for grades 7 through 12 is as follows:

Sept. 21, 23 and 28       

9 to 10:15 a.m.
10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. 

KCAD ArtPrize Education Days sessions are free, but registration is required.

Submitted by Kendall College of Art and Design