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What is the A in STEAM?

October 6, 2021 | Clara Buckley

In our STEAM introductions, students worked with their homeroom teachers on digital literacy and researching skills. Once a week, small groups met with Ms Buckley in the Shared Space.

We discussed how we might use art in STEAM; to create a clay model of an ecosystem, to produce a poster sharing our knowledge about the Harlem Renaissance, to design a Rube Goldberg machine. 

First, we practiced several styles of drawing, observational, imaginative, and plan.

In STEAM we always draw our plans before moving on to construction. A drawn plan solidifies our ideas. We’re using both our imagination and realistic drawing. The drawing can quickly share our ideas and design with classmates and teachers.

Then Ms Buckley introduced scientific drawing. The purpose of scientific drawing is to record and communicate information. At Mustard Seed School, students are well practiced at observational drawing. This new form of drawing builds on those skills. In the words of the students, “We take time, observe closely, record what you see.”

Scientific drawing can include diagrams (showing how something works), labels, questions, and explanations. We got a lot of ruler practice!

These drawing skills will be useful in our next STEAM unit, Chemistry and Scientific Method.

Clara Buckley

Teacher, Rivers Class; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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