All 2700 students at John Burroughs High School had the opportunity to try out and learn more about various creative and skilled disciplines incorporating the arts and technology at the annual Arts For All Day on Wednesday, October 8.
“Students, and all people really, have a natural ‘maker’ in them,” commented teacher Debbie McHorney, who introduced students to the MaKey MaKey kit combining creativity and technology. “The Maker Movement is an effort to bring that creative instinct back into the classroom.”
The Burroughs Arts For All Day workshops provided students with a wide range of experiences from voiceover acting, movie creature makeup, storyboarding, fine arts, playing musical instruments and cutting and shaping wood. The high-schoolers could learn dance steps, cheerleading moves, how to sing and try out storytelling, doodling, photography, theater, poetry, culinary arts and participate in an engine-building contest.
The MaKey MaKey kits were popular, as students learned how to connect forks, bananas, limes and playdough with alligator clips to the controller, which acts as a computer mouse or keyboard. The students could then navigate a web page or play a game on the computer by touching the assorted objects.
“The kids were pretty amazed that they could control the computer by touching a banana,” added McHorney. “They also really liked when they discovered that they could complete circuits by making contact with each other. The students had a lot of fun and I was really glad to have a chance to expose them to this fun technology.”
While JBHS teachers and students led many of the workshops, several professionals and organizations from the Burbank community also were on hand to interact with students.
Tom Vice from FotoKem demonstrated some of the capabilities of the nextLAB Mobile, a moveable workstation which production teams use to view dailies on set, perform edits and audio synching, among other functions normally reserved for the studio.
Photographer Randy Flosi, author and storyteller Antonio Sacre, make-up representatives from Cinema Secrets and ceramic artists Michael Hirsch and Roger Dudley demonstrated aspects of their art for students.
Voiceover artist Jennifer Hughes and animation and storyboard artist Robert Hughes engaged with interested youth as well. Students recorded voiceover parts to a Phineas & Ferb cartoon and visual artists picked up some tips for successful storyboarding and animation.
Kristen Alonso and Patrick Hogg from Boys and Girls Club encouraged students in grades 10-12 to sign up for the Art Science Prize Big Idea Lab. The after school team building program meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students work together integrating the arts and sciences to solve a problem. Last year’s program challenge encouraged teenagers to come up with a solution to provide energy for future generations.
“The ideas these kids come up with in the Art Science Prize Big Idea Lab are really innovative,” Alonso said.
Art teacher Beth Morrison oversaw some of the fine arts tables, as students used different kinds of media such as markers and watercolors to create small works of personal art.
“Did you get your hands messy yet?” Morrison asked her classroom students who stopped by the drawing and watercolor station to check in.
“Art is fun because you can express yourself regardless of what other people say,” said eleventh-grader Lillian Gates. “It can be beautiful.”
“In art you get to express yourself and allow yourself to be creative,” chimed in CJ Simmons, another eleventh-grader as she colored an art card. “You can express what is on your mind.”
Teacher John Benne helped students cut out shapes from pieces of wood using a table jigsaw while other students shaped pieces of wood using a nearby lathe.
Another very popular section was teacher Dave Vezina’s Aircraft and Small Engines tables. Students crowded around, learning about engine heads and got some hands on experience assembling small parts into workable machines.
“Arts for All Day is a great opportunity for students to actively engage and get exposed to the industrial, visual and performing arts programs offered at John Burroughs High School,“ commented Matt Chambers, Assistant Vice Principal of Athletics and Activities.
Chambers organized the event and came up with the idea for a series of hands on workshops and interactive experiences.
“We are grateful to have so many great teachers and community artists who are willing to participate in this event,“ he added. “We really want our students to be active learners.”
[…] they could use everyday objects to create a controller for the computers. There was a very nice write-up in the local paper that details the experience the students had during this great […]
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