Art Resource Collaborative

for Kids

SESSION TITLE: Full STEAM Ahead! Light-Up T-shirts for Advocating Bike Safety


SESSION TIME: 15 minutes

SESSION DESCRIPTION: How can students use STEAM curriculum to foster awareness and advocacy for bike safety in their communities? In this lesson designed for grades 6-12, students design and troubleshoot innovative light-up clothing for bicyclists as they try to answer one of ARCK Boston’s major unit questions: Where do I fit in the community? Students begin by using research (maps and statistics) to analyze inequities in biking culture with regard to bike lanes and reported accidents. Following their research, students will use fabric paints and permanent marker to create their t-shirt design. Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills will be enhanced as students work collaboratively to add e-textile components to their shirts. Using washable LED lights, conductive thread, and a button-cell battery (with holder), students will sew a working circuit into their creations. **Presentation will include sharing of the lesson plan, suggestions for preliminary skill-building exercises and sites for student research, and access to teaching resources.

PRESENTER BIO: For the past 5 years, ARCK has been empowering over 1000 students in local Boston schools with high-quality arts education that fosters culture and community while also supporting a school’s learning objectives.

ARCK’s main mission and overarching goal is to change the course of children’s lives, using art to help them reach their greatest potential and become compassionate global citizens and future leaders. ARCK promotes social, cultural, and emotional inclusion for all students in today’s increasingly challenging social and economic climate. We believe passionately in the need for strong in-school arts programs, despite ever-present public school budget limitations. We work to reach the whole child through art while imparting intercultural understanding and supporting social and emotional well-being and individual learning styles. Data backs up the value of arts education and 21st-century skills such as innovation and creativity; by using art to teach leadership skills, empower children to engage in their local community, and emphasize social justice themes we are developing students into global citizens and agents of change. In addition, we envision scaling and expanding our arts-integrated interdisciplinary program to reach more children locally, nationally, and internationally.

We tie our art lessons to current world issues. This year, a key theme is climate change. Using art along with science, technology, engineering and math concepts, we aim to raise children’s awareness of global warming’s cause and effects and foster creative problem-solving approaches, empowering students to see themselves as agents of change. By promoting creativity and engagement in learning, we are empowering students to become global citizens and future leaders.