Art and the Environment Week / Art & Design Thinking Camp 2016

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 the Environment
– 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.

Day 1

Make a Terrarium, learning about the water cycle and creating a mini world.

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.

Make Symbols About Water

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 simple images, made of a few lines, using contrasts, positive and negative space.

Day 2

Make a Poster about Pollution Awareness in Our Watershed

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 unique digital poster about the watershed conservation, using a tablet and Pic Collage.

Make a Shadow Box about Endangered Marine Species

Students learn about the impact of human activities on marine species, and the major threats marine species are facing: overfishing/unsustainable fishing, inadequate protection (not enough sanctuaries), tourism and development, ship strikes, oil and gas pollution, consequences of aquaculture (pollution), climate change (change in ocean temperatures). They learn how to draw a recognizable shape to create a silhouette. They explore simple circuitry by constructing a simple circuit, with LED, battery, conductive tape, and a switch system.

Day 3

Short Stories about the human impact on the Ocean – Shadow Theatre and Video

Day 4

Plankton Installation – Learning about an essential but (almost) invisible world.

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?