Students of Jennifer Harper’s 4th grade art class at Rock Canyon Elementary are practicing hands-on learning through using simple circuits to create STEM-based artwork.

The students apply STEM to their artwork by utilizing simple circuits to turn on an LED light, which will be used in their themed art piece as a dragon’s eye. By combining both art and STEM into this activity, it allows the students to see how they can incorporate science and technology into real world situations.

Harper proposed this activity to help her students develop skills in image profiling and to consider the design and composition of the dragon. They first used example drawings to outline their dragons on a white sheet of paper, later moving onto a colored construction paper once the outline was perfected. During the following art class, students will insert a simple circuit into their drawings in order to create a LED light, which will represent the dragon’s eye.

Mrs. Harper received an art grant that allows her students to utilize technology for their art projects. She will continue working on similar projects such as creating Tiffany lamps with 5th graders and using recycled materials to create jellyfish with 6th graders. Both the fifth and sixth grade projects will incorporate the same simple circuit technique used by the fourth graders.

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