In the 2016 school year I got to do a STEAM project at Mercer County Special Service School with yanjep.org. I had so much fun. A big chunk of my life has been working in the trades especially things electric. This was doing work I don’t normally do as an artist/ teaching artist and I had a blast. The students had a great time but couldn’t possibly have had more fun than I did. The residency was a short one about 12 days and with my favorite population of learners. What I did was use a basic electric circuit and tweak it into many projects. I also tried to keep the materials simple and adaptable for many lessons. The basic materials were a mini motor, mini latching switch, craft sticks, beer pong balls, colored plastic cups, duct tape, rubber bands, batteries, battery holders and LOTS of hot glue. At least for me, Amazon is the answer to a teaching artists prayers. Anything I needed I could order and get in days. We started with stick bombs which are fun and a way for me to get to know the students. The best info out there is to google the Kinetic King. I can’t think of ANYONE that pushed stick bombs to the limit like this guy. His site has the best instructions for making them. We made squigglebots(lots of examples on youtube). Creaturebots another take on vibration motors. We made Ping pong ball and stick vibration motor contraptions (an improv off of you tube videos)and catapults that shot ping pong balls. We also made small spin art contraptions. In one class we experimented with motorized doodads. I didn’t take enough pictures. I hope to improve on that this school year.
a spin art contraption in progress
my creaturebot I simplified this for the students