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STEM/STEAM in Action

September 22, 2012

Ann Thompson is walking the walk

When I see an email from Ann Thompson in my in box I know that there will be something interesting in the message. Recently Ann emailed to let me know that she is teaching art through the Biddeford High School Alternative Education Program one day a week. Her students are mostly Juniors & Seniors who are completing diploma requirements. She has created a course with a “lab” component to introduce STEM related projects to the students.

She will begin by creating Galimotos with the students. For those who are not familiar with Galimotos they are an African kinetic folk toy. I remember reading a children’s story to my sons many moons ago about the village of young people who made Gaimotos.

Ann works with the local bike shop during the summer. This summer it was the bike shop plus 13 milddle schoolers along with three bikes and a climbing rope!

Ann keeps herself busy making the connection between science, technology, engineering, math and is sure to add the “A” for the arts to make it STEAM. In fact she’s heading off to NH for the STEM related professional development that is taking place there during the end of October. (Info posted under Prof Dev Opps). She plans to learn more about a national craft initiative called “Craft Think Tank”. It is a forum for people to discuss the new nature of “making”. http://craftthinktank.ning.com.

Ann is continuously working on the Maine Reef Project which will be culminating with the installation at the Fryeburg Fair http://the mainereef.blogspot.com. This community art initiative ended up being very inclusive. The youngest contributor was 9—the oldest 94 with a runner up at 89. The Spindleworks artists sent donations as well as many out of state folks from as far away as Oregon, Florida, California,  & St.Croix.
Some had ties to Maine and some just found us on-line. At the Brunswick Family Art/Science Festival which Ann took part in after “Maker Faire” in Lewiston not to long ago there was a lot of excitement about hyperbolic crochet, especially from the Coastal Studies for Girls. Daina Tamina’s book on hyperbolic crochet recently won a Math prize and she is featured in a TEDX talk. Lewiston Sun is doing a feature on the project soon.

Needless to say you can imagine why I enjoy hearing from Ann and the work that she is involved with – Great job Ann and thanks for sharing this information and resources!

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