Get Moving: STEM and Kinetic Sculptures

 In The CAPE Blog

This spring at Pirie Elementary in the Chatham neighborhood, teacher Kira Jones and CAPE Teaching Artist Ellen Tritschler have been exploring kinetic energy, engineering, measurement, and sculpture with their 6th grade students. Each student began the project by experimenting with and creating small-scale kinetic sculptures from wire and clay, before moving on to mobiles composed of largely recycled materials.

Building on what they discovered individually, the students then came together in groups to work collaboratively to plan, design, execute, and reflect on the larger kinetic sculptures soon to be on display at Convergence. These sculptures are designed to be moved and manipulated by wind, magnets, or cranks, and Convergence attendees are welcome to interact with them!

Projects like this often challenge students’ comfort levels as they grapple with new materials and concepts while experimenting with ideas and artworks that sometimes fail. Faith, a student in Kira and Ellen’s class, spent time considering and doubting her choices before finally deciding on a course of action: “You’ve got to take risks sometimes.” We couldn’t agree more!

This project and many others from our Artist/Researcher Partnership program will be on display in May as part of our Convergence exhibition. Please join us there!

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