2016 STEAM Surge projects – summaries, goals, and initial photos

STEAM Surge – 2016 Projects

_A0A1015 - Version 2Ewok Village

The Ewok Village Project aims to connect students with the integrated nature of architecture. Through following the architectural process and building a personalized dwelling, this project aims to develop an appreciation for compassionate and environmentally responsible design. The goal is to create a unique design to meet the needs of a specific creature and physical site. Through the process students will learn how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math work together to make something plausible, effective, and beautiful all at the same time.

Course-Specific Markers – EWOK Village

  1. Brainstorming an approach to a dwelling and connect the design to specific character and site needs.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of scale by creating scaled drawings and models.
  3. Create a detailed model with attention to architectural design principles, engineering and overall precision/neatness.


Microbial ArtMicrobial Art
Students will learn about the biodiversity of microorganisms and math in nature.  They will use lab techniques to culture bacteria and slime mold.  Students explore the behavior of slime mold in solving a maze and explore techniques to culture bioluminescent bacteria to create art.  Students will use photographs to document their work and create a final display of the investigation into the microbial world.

Course-Specific Markers – Microbial Art

  1. Describe the different types of microorganisms in the bioworld, and how some are helpful, harmful, or neutral to interacting organisms.
  2. Use sterile techniques to culture bacteria and slime molds and can demonstrate understanding of safety measures required when working with microorganisms.
  3. Use cameras and computer software to create a multimedia display of the growth of their bacteria and slime mold cultures.


Programming BootcampProgramming Bootcamp

In this two-week intensive, students will be introduced to the basics of computer programming using a combination of a Code.org course, Scatch.com challenges, and daily “unplugged” activities that help bring the digital world to life. Students will have many chances to create various forms of digital art, including geometric sketches and animated video games of their own design.

Course-Specific Markers – Programming Bootcamp

  1. Create block-script computer programs that follow sequential order and use algorithms, loops, functions, variables, and conditionals.
  2. Debug programs using a combination of a wide array of problem solving and frustration-releasing techniques, as well a sizeable amount of persistence.
  3. Connect the daily “unplugged” activities to their digital work.
  4. Effectively document digital work created using combination of screen capture, video screenshot, airdrop, Google Drive and desktop storage, as well as social media sharing.


_A0A1041 - Version 2Quirky Contraptions

The Quirky Contraptions project aims to help students embrace the creative spirit of tinkering with tools and electronics. Students will be asked to figure out how to completely disassemble a neglected electronic toy and then reconstruct the singular pieces into kooky portraits or sculptures with electronic features. There will — no doubt — be plenty of opportunity to experience playful innovation and many chances to learn that “failures” are often the source of fantastic invention!

Course-Specific Markers – Quirky Contraptions

  1. Be able to name and describe the functions of the parts inside an electrical/mechanical toy that they disassemble.
  2. Develop understanding of electric circuits.
  3. Demonstrate the various stages of the engineering cycle.


_A0A1050 - Version 2Robotic Picassos

In this experience, students will design, build, and program robots to create art!  Learn the basics of robotics using Lego Mindstorms robots.  Learn how math (proportions, patterns, angles, and more) is an intricate part of art.  Combine the knowledge to create works of your own where you never lift a pencil, pen, or brush!

Course-Specific Markers – Robotic Picassos

  1. Follow detailed instructions to build the base robot.
  2. Use the engineering design cycle to add a drawing utensil to the base robot.
  3. Program your Lego Mindstorm robot to make turns, run loops, and create a final product.
  4. Connect the ‘Unplugged Activities’ to the programming you are performing.

Coding EWOK brainstorming EWOK Village

Quirky disassembly

EWOKQuirky Contraptions
Robotic PicassosRobotic Picassos brainstorming

Microbe Art Resources

Human Microbiome Video

Bioluminescence Resources

Slime Mold Resources

Making Mazes

Math in Nature

Painting with bioluminescent bacteria

Other art with bacteria

Slime molds art

Sample multimedia presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KYDTYcDtKQ#t=114

Tools for multimedia presentation: