Thursday, January 30, 2014

Second STEAM Institute announced

In affiliation with OneTree Alaska, the second Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math Institute will be offered July 6-18 in Fairbanks. Registration is now open.

Hosted by SNRAS and the Boreal House Art and Science Center, the two-week immersion is geared for teachers, artists, scientists, university students and anyone interested in the boreal forest. The theme is "botanical immersion through multiple lenses."

Participants will select and define a plot on the UAF trail system for scientific inquiry and aesthetic inspiration. They will identify and work with plants, insects and interrelationships through multiple lenses. They will learn, observe and record with drawing, data collection, words, poetry, technology and design. Each will contribute a botanical illustration with writing to an encased portfolio, which will be printed and presented to everyone in the institute.

Educators can earn four 500 level credits from the University of Alaska Southeast while participating in ongoing teacher connections throughout the two weeks to discuss classroom practice and implementation. A well-developed curriculum piece is required for credit.

Tuition is $500. For credit, there is an additional $100 fee.

plant identification, structure, phenology (repeating events in the lifecycle of an organism), ecological relationships

time lapse photography using iPads, augmented reality, writing

design of casement structure for suite of art plates

drawing in color pencil, fine pen, watercolor, color theory, botanical illustration history, layout and design exercises,
 completion of an art plate

scientific measuring, calculations for engineering a portfolio casement

fFieldSketchngLogo 2  

Jan Dawe - UAF SNRAS research assistant professor, botany, forestry
    and ecology
Margo Klass - UAF lecturer in art, mixed media and book artist
Karen Stomberg - retired Fairbanks North Star Borough School District art coordinator, artist, curriculum integration 
Chris Pastro - FNSBSD teacher, Extended Learning Program,
     curriculum integration
Zac Meyers - UAF SNRAS instructional designer, technologist
Frank Soos - UAF professor emeritus, poet and writer

North Pole High School teacher Laurel Herbeck took the first STEAM workshop in 2012 and the field drawing class in 2013. She then incorporated what she learned into her high school art classes. Here are her impressions:

The first time we replicated the project exactly, with each student doing a page in the book, which we called "Pond Walk, Fall in North Pole and Two Rivers." The second project was a specimen book that focused less on the science and more on field drawing-collecting and making observational drawing of specimens, using colored pencil. 

In the STEAM workshop and field drawing classes  I learned about the science of plants: identity, classification, habitat, range and climate, reproduction, seasonal changes and what to observe in a plant. I also learned the history of botanical books,  how botanical artists work, what materials they use and how botanical drawing differs from other kinds of drawing.  In the STEAM workshop I  was provided resources for learning and teaching plant science and botanical drawing that I could apply to classroom projects. I will continue to do botanical drawing projects every year.

I have been involved in Northwoods Book Arts Guild and One Tree Alaska as an educator and book maker almost since the inception of these projects.  The opportunity to teach botanical illustration to my students an at the same time explore the beautiful woods and landscape around the pond behind North Pole High School was irresistible. I have long been interested in combining science and art. The first project was printed for us at the FNSBSD Print Shop by Bobby J. Trujillo, and looked just as wonderful as the books produced in the STEAM workshop.  Margo Klass, the" book engineering" instructor and book artist, came to help us with the construction. 

Students worked very hard on both projects and produced beautiful books. They thought the work was challenging, but were very proud of their results. I would recommend this class to teachers as a way of integrating science, math, engineering, technology and art, as well as a way to challenge students to work the way professional scientists,  botanical artists and book designers work. These projects were a form of authentic learning that teaches creativity, problem solving and skill mastery, exactly what we want our students to be able to do as 21st century learners!
STEAM participants in the woods in summer 2012.
"This institute is a unique, heterogenous mix of scientists, artists, naturalists, students and teachers," said Karen Stomberg. "It's a wonderful mix. Everyone brings something different to the table."

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