Art lives and breathes inside every segment of education.
It’s aloha again from our colleagues at Hawaii’s Art Explorium. You may remember Heather Williams & Julie Uyeno-Pidot from our previous blog post No Ocean is Wide Enough for spare parts–A Creative Reuse Tale between 2 Cities. We caught up with Heather & staff after reading about their recent Creative Reuse Open House for Teachers.
“By weaving the arts into & through our content in naturally aligned ways, we are providing relevance to student learning, & giving them an opportunity to connect their world to our classrooms,” said Susan Riley in an edutopia blog post.
Believing this approach combined with the creative reuse applications, Art Explorium staff hosted more than 50 teachers at an Open House event in July.
Heather–During the planning phases of this event we meet with other people in the community (educators, people from our local museum & arts organizations, etc.) to discuss what would be most valuable to teachers. We feel that if our projects integrate with critical academic subjects so that they support each other, teachers will be more likely to attend our event, find value in it, & to actually try these projects in their classrooms.
Making the event easy for teachers to attend was one of the most important elements.
Heather–We thought by using an Open House informal format teachers can stay as long or as little as they want. They don’t have to give up an entire day or half a day. Each station was set up with a different academic focus (language arts, science, math). With an arts education expert, teachers learned about two projects that tie in to an academic subject. For example, the science table this year featured Fabric Bowls & Cork Boats as the two projects. Each station also had relevant books set out so teachers could get ideas about other helpful resources. We invited them to bring their children with them. While they were getting materials & talking to resource people & getting project ideas, their kids could do art activities in another area. Teacher resource handout
More than 50 teachers attended, up from only about 10 in 2014, so we have definitely come a long way! Hopefully these teachers will take what they learned & share exponentially with their students.
Heather–Being a new nonprofit, the past three years have been a day-by-day learning experience where we try new things, see how they work, learn from them & move forward from there. We are now starting to see some patterns, & get a better understanding of who we are & what we do.
One of the best parts is that we have built a community around us – in our neighborhood, amongst the families that visit us, amongst teaching artists & other local organizations.
Art Explorium staff plans to participate in creative reuse art activities at some upcoming community events such as a STEAM event at Windward Mall and at the Kaiwi Coast Run/Walk later this month as well. They will do some activities at each event. And, they are presenting at a Preschool Conference in September to share creative reuse ideas with teachers there.
Heather and Julie shared pictures of some of the event’s projects:
This year I really liked the Fabric Bowls because we have so much donated fabric. They are so cute & kids can really add their own personal touch to them. Carole on the left. She is an artist, an art teacher & a curriculum expert. She is giving ideas to teachers on how to integrate the science projects into their classroom
Janice shares some of our favorite classroom resources including the t-shirt apron, robot kit, bottle cap mosaic &felt board. T-Shirt Apron Directions
The author’s favorite project is the Found Art Collage.
Laura Carter is a writer, blogger, social media maven & nonprofit advocate. A communications professional, she is currently working with Blessed Sacrament Academy on Mission Road developing their communications/development programs. Laura serves on the Advisory Board of spare parts. In addition, she has volunteered all five years with TEDxSanantonio.