This November 8 we celebrate National S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M.Day with a national holiday reserved to encourage kids and individuals of all ages to identify their passions in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. For this occasion, we reflected on past community events and talkSTEM educational content that we shared. The following activities were taken from walkSTEM tour videos, freely available on YouTube if you choose to continue the virtual adventure.
Recently, more research has surfaced highlighting the benefits and necessity of introducing art within STEM education. The following activities, along with many of the walkSTEM tours, showcase the complex intersections between the arts and STEM. At talkSTEM, we acknowledge the importance of art, especially for early education. We hope you enjoy these 5 activities with your students this National STEAM day and develop your own artistic STEM mindset.
- Color Mixing at the Dallas Museum of Art
This walkSTEM stop was derived from the Dallas Arts District walkSTEM tour playlist. At this mural, we discussed two concepts. One being the observation of the difference in appearance of colors when you are standing closer to the mosaic versus further away. We can connect STEM with the mosaic by thinking about how our brain blends the different shades of tiles together to create the gradient effect the artist desired.
Secondly, we look at a color wheel to think about a potential formula that could determine what the result would be of mixing two colors. Consider how color laser printers mix toners accurately, and how that compares to an artist mixing paint.
2. Ellipses at Dallas Love Field Airport
You may not be traveling soon, but you can still utilize this activity founded at the walkSTEM tour for Dallas Love Field Airport.
This video explores the unique shape found in Alexander Liberman’s sculpture, Venture. The sculpture appears to have cut cylinders stacked almost 4 stories tall. The slice of the cylinder shape creates ellipses. We can connect ellipses to space and travel, which could contribute to the meaning behind the piece and its location at an airport. Using found items like toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls, recreate the Venture sculpture with your STEM artists.
3. Gears at NorthPark Center
View the following walkSTEM video of a dynamic sculpture in NorthPark Center that is kinetic thanks to mechanics.
After watching the video, try to find toys or objects in your environment that would contain similar mechanics (ex: clocks, cars, wind-up toys). How can mechanics and gears allow artwork to move in a meaningful way?
4. Make Your Own Parabola at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
A visit to this intimate museum would be a perfect venue for learning on National STEAM Day.
This walkSTEM stop highlights one of many artworks on display. For this piece, we observed a parabolic pattern in the sculpture. At home, you can use a pencil, paper and ruler to create your own parabolas by following a pattern. For younger scientists, you can discuss how we create parabolas in our lives. Example :the shape a soccer ball travels when kicked in the air.
4. Floating Sculptures at Dallas City Hall Plaza
This walkSTEM stop is found in Dallas City Hall Plaza. The video highlights the sculpture Floating Sculptures by Marta Pan.
Similarly to the Venture at Dallas Love Field Airport, we can observe the different shapes found in the sculptures. The spheres appear to have cylinder cutouts. Why did the artist decide on a cylindrical cutout? Why do the sculptures rotate? How did the artist make the sculptures rotate under still water?
Another STEM topic that we incorporate into our art projects is symmetry. To easily create symmetry: paint one side of a sheet of paper, fold in half to transfer/ copy to the other side, and open to reveal the symmetrical picture.
We hope that you and your family can celebrate National STEAM Day, and foster a creative STEAM mindset. STEM is related to our everyday environments including the built and natural environments, everyday objects, and artworks.
We hope you will share a selfie with us on social media if you visit any of our walkSTEM stops share in the videos above. We are looking forward to what you create!