Junior high students blend art, technology

Kids at Carson, Mesa, Powell and Smith are Learning Through Engineering Design and Practice.

The expressive arts — visual art, music and movement — are a natural and necessary part of all children's lives. Mesa students are unleashing their creative expression using found objects; LEGO bricks; light, touch and sound sensors; and a programmable unit known as the Playful Invention Company (PICO) Cricket.

In exploring science, technology, engineering and math, seventh- and eighth-graders at Carson, Mesa, Powell and Smith junior highs blend aesthetics and technology to create art installations, toys, and other objects that involve art, music and movement.

Learning Through Engineering Design and Practice: Using Our Human Capital for an Equitable Future is a technologically rich, multiyear youth-based project. Collaborators include:

  • Education partners: Arizona State University and Mesa Public Schools
  • Industry partners: Boeing, Intel, Microchip, Motorola and Salt River Project
  • Community partners: Arizona Science Center, Arizona Foundation for Resource Education, Arizona Game and Fish Department, the US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley

The program is funded by the National Science Foundation. Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh, assistant dean for information systems at ASU's Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, is the principal investigator of the outreach and research award.

The project is featured by Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers on the Inside ITEST Web site.

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