Art and the Environment Week / Art and Design Thinking Camp 2017

Art and Design Thinking Camp
Art and Design Thinking Summer Camp is a six week enrichment program in San Jose supported by the Alum Rock Educational Foundation (AREF) . The A&D Camp is 6 weeks long, one art educators/instructors per week.

Art and Environment Week

July 2016, Mathson Middle School, San Jose, CA
– June 2017, Alum Rock, San Antonio Elementary School, San Jose, CA
– June 2018, Mathson Middle School, San Jose,  CA

Short Description
We love the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean! In this week campers make art projects about the importance of water and the consequences of human activity on our watershed and on the ocean. From individual work to group installations, they will explore various techniques including mini-landscaping, shadow theatre, graphic design basics, photo and video.

Make a Terrarium
Human activity can affect the water cycle. Why is the water cycle so important for the balance of ecosystems? Students build a terrarium with small house plants, soil, charcoal and gravel. They decorate it with personal elements like rocks, pieces of wood, creating a mini landscape.

Create the Cover for the Design Notebook
Create a file to make a stencil with the Silhouette Cameo
Create a stencil by hand
Design Notebooks are an important part of the design journey. The students write and sketch their ideas, storyboards, take notes about important steps, reflect on processes. They created the cover of their notebook in Inkscape and the covers were laser cut.
Students had the opportunity to use Silhouette cutters to create stencils with their names and their favorite animal.
They also explored the possibility of making a stencil of their name without using technology.

Make 2D and 3D Symbols about Water made of paper
Using design thinking concepts (documentation, sketching ideas, refining ideas, prototyping), this exercise introduces the students to the importance of water on Earth and to graphic design basic techniques. What are the places where there is water on Earth? What are the uses of water? Students translate words about water into 2D symbols and 3D mini-sculptures. 

Make a Poster for Coastal Cleanup 2017
How can things I am doing at home can have an impact on the quality of the water and the health of the wildlife in the watershed where I live?
How can I graphically express an idea with simple means? How does the different placement of the different elements (message, explanation, image) change the perception the viewer has of the overall image?
Students work individually to create a digital poster about the coastal cleanup event in our region, using a tablet and Pic Collage. Iterations are part of the process. A large size poster is professionally printed for each students from their files. 

Make a Jellyfish with recycled plastic and basic circuitry
From getting stuck in nets to eating plastic that they think is food, creatures worldwide are dying from material we made. Plastic is a plague and we need to make decisions in our life to try not to use plastic when we can, for example with single use plastic bottles, straws, plastic cups at the coffee store, plastic containers at the take-away. Using plastic bottles collected in recycled bins, students make a jellyfish lit with an LED. Turn off the light and the ensemble makes a school of jellyfish floating in the darkness of the classroom.


Make a Collective Mural about Plankton
Students create elements for a collective mural representing an ensemble of enlarged plankton organisms. Why is plankton so important? Why should we care about it? Why should we take the time to create a mural that is a tribute to it?

End of the Week – Presentation by the students
At the end of the camp, students present to their parents the projects they have been working on, including their design notebook.

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