STEAM project becomes class legacy

Andrea Campos is in the fifth-grade class at Hasty Elementary that is designing positive signs to install on the grounds as part of a class legacy project.
Andrea Campos is in the fifth-grade class at Hasty Elementary that is designing positive signs to install on the grounds as part of a class legacy project.

Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy fifth-grader Andrea Campos says she’s always liked making things. In the last few months, she’s sharpened that skill by learning how to create and design in 3D as part of a project to leave a legacy behind after she leaves the Canton school.

Thanks to a $3,000 innovation grant awarded by the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium, the school acquired new computers to support the fifth-grade STEAM project: designing and creating signs for the Social and Emotional Learning Path to Becoming, a quiet outdoor space where students can refocus and recharge.

“It’s a path where our students can take time to calm down, get out in nature and use some of those emotional learning strategies we talk about,” said STEAM lab teacher Rebekah Holt. “I was looking around at the needs we had here, and I saw there were no signs around the path. I thought it would be a great way for our fifth graders to leave a legacy that combines both SEL (Social Emotional Learning) and STEAM components.”

With the upgrade in technology, Campos is mastering Tinkercad, a program she’s already used to build an emoji.

“I’m learning how to use each tool, and it lets you make our own characters,” said the 10-year-old. “It’s a good idea to make positive signs for the path that people can read when they’re walking. I think they’ll have fun reading each one.”

Holt has been working with the school’s counselors to create lessons around how to deal with emotions, and the sign project ties into that goal.

“They’ll give students something positive to think about,” she said. “There will be guide signs to help students slow down and process whatever they’re going through.”

When the designs are finished, they’ll be sent to Cherokee High where students there will offer feedback, then use a 3D printer to create the final versions. Later this spring, Holt expects her 149 fifth graders will help install their signs around the path.

“That will be their class’ gift to the school,” she said. “At the same time, they will apply 21st century skills as they complete the engineering design process. They will use math skills to measure the path, use scale to create their model and calculate volume of required plastic for the 3D printer. Students will also have lessons with a counselor to learn about healthy strategies to deal with negative feelings. And they’re learning 3D design, a skill they can continue to grow as they go through school.”

Just what the final signs will look like is still to be decided. Fifth-grader Ben Hendrix said the students have been sketching out ideas and making their own versions before everyone decides on the final selections.

“I’ve really enjoyed worked with Tinkercad because I like designing things,” he said. “And I like that this project will help students calm down and get a grip.”

Information about Hasty Elementary School Fine Arts Academy is online at cherokeek12.net/hastyes.

SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at hm_cauley@yahoo.com or 770-744-3042.

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