The Art of MACHINES

…a Spring 2018 Alternative Curriculum Program Project for OPS Classrooms

WhyArts invited a group of ACP classes at Omaha Public Schools to participate in MACHINES: a four-day workshop series designed to introduce the students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles through art activities. The students learned about pulleys and levers, cars and trains, engines and wheels, airplanes and rocket ships. They built a machine, explored technology through movement and played a game or two.

Participating Schools:

  • Boyd Elementary School
  • Dodge Elementary School
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Fontenelle Elementary School
  • Gateway Elementary School
  • Prairie Wind Elementary School
  • Wakonda Elementary School
  • Davis Middle School
  • Lewis & Clark Middle School
  • Norris Middle School

Participating Artists:

  • Kim Clark- Kaczmarek
  • Nils Haaland
  • Kim Jubenville
  • Josh Mullady
  • Theresa Sindelar
  • Courtney Stein

Throughout the project, students learned about the science of machines via theatre, music and movement; practiced creative thinking; built their self confidence and social skills; and had fun learning in a group environment.

I had a great time working with the students on their machines. The kids all had their own unique ideas of how they wanted their final machine to look. All students participated. For those who needed assistance, we made sure we used hand-to-hand interaction when manipulating the objects. Teachers and paras were all positive and actively involved, which made the residency a rewarding experience.

WhyArts Teaching Artist Kim Clark-Kaczmarek at Gateway Elementary

The third day of the workshop, our experiment was balance – using a binder clip as a fulcrum and a ruler as the plane. We balanced money in equal denominations on either side and then gumdrops. We then switched groups from the previous day and continued our Rube Goldberg carwash machine, knowing that the next day would be the grand  test before the principal. On the fourth day, we reviewed the process and then gave the big car wash! There was a minor glitch, but the students didn’t lose their cool – they problem solved and the car got washed. Lots of fun!

WhyArts Teaching Artist Kim Jubenville at Lewis & Clark Middle School

Take a look.