STEM camp added the A this year at my school. Yay, STEAM camp!
STEAM is not a scary concept. Truthfully, it's just giving a new name to some of the things most art teachers have been doing for a long time.
My activity today was AMAZING. Middle school students, summer, catapults, action painting... What's not to like?
So ladies and gentleman, I introduce to you... CATAPULT ACTION PAINTING.
Students engaged in the building of their own catapult. They spent time analyzing force, distance, and accuracy. Some students researched on their own device how to get the best results from their catapult. We painted, regrouped, and discussed our observations on the project. Here are some things we discovered:
1. If we added extra small Popsicle sticks between the 2 larger sticks, the paint covered pompom would go a longer distance. Students used 6-10 smaller sticks each.
2. Smaller pompoms went further than bigger pompoms.
3. The pompoms in the more transparent paint went further than the pompoms in the more opaque (less diluted) paint.
4. The quicker the release the better.
5. The larger the amount of smaller Popsicle sticks, the less accuracy noted.
6. If the pompom is not positioned correctly and the angles of the catapult are not right, there is a larger amount of kick back in the form of splatter (as I learned from a face full of paint)
7. Holding the the side of the catapult (the ones we made) holds more firmly than if you hold the back.
8. Re-position the rubber-bands and spoon... make changes. Make more changes. It is absolutely fine to make changes and regroup as many times as needed. Mistakes happen. Rubber bands break. Paint splatters in the wrong directions. It's the process that matters, not the product.