In the future, a ceramic tile mosaic made by Kelley School fifth-graders will appear somewhere in the Newark school.
As part of their study of abstract art in their science, technology, engineering, art and math classes, 165 fifth-graders from eight classes transformed 1-by-1-inch white, ceramic tiles into tiny works of art.
They made colorful designs on two tiles with permanent markers and sprayed them with rubbing alcohol, which caused a smearing abstract effect. Once dry, students could keep one of the tiles; the other one will become part of the mosaic.
After students from Alicia Marchionda’s fifth-grade class transformed the tiles, the class conducted a gallery walk to view each creation, as had the other fifth-grade classes.
Carson Stoffel said learning about abstract art reminded him of a “SpongeBob SquarePants” episode in which the famed cartoon figure made abstract art with mustard.
STEAM teacher Jen Strazzabosco showed students several examples of abstract art by Jackson Pollock, an American painter from the abstract expressionist movement. Before he died at the age of 44 in 1956, he was known for his unique style of drip painting.
Michele Vair, STEAM teacher assistant, encouraged students to look and “artistically appreciate” the colorful tiles they created, and think about what they look like to them and how they feel when they look at the different colors in the tiles.
“Colors affect the way we feel and evoke different emotions,’’ Vair said. “Some colors can make us feel peaceful. Sometimes, dark colors can make us sad.’’
Vair came up with the idea of making the abstract mosaic out of tiles that were discovered last year as they cleaned out the old science lab.
Strazzabosco said students found that they liked some tiles more than the others. Likewise, she said different people like different kinds of art.
“It’s a very individual thing,’’ Strazzabosco said.
Individual preferences were evident in a STEAM class project in which eight, fourth-grade classes made miniature golf courses out of cardboard box lids. Each class picked different themes when designed the miniature golf courses, including Disney movies and characters as well as Legos.
Strazzabosco said the protractor golf project emphasized problem-solving, engineering considerations and math in the design, all needed components to ensure only five putter swings around obstacles to propel the golf ball into the hole on the mini courses.
After a few weeks, 48 courses designed around different themes were finished — one for each of the six tables in the STEAM classroom. Each class took turns playing on each of the courses their class made.
Students voted on their favorite course in each classes. The eight winners will be part of the attractions at the upcoming school field days on June 15.
Arizona Chapple, a fourth-grader in Tiffany LaPrade’s class who designed a course centered around Disney princesses and animals, said she enjoyed the entire process.
“You could make your own creations at each table,’’ she said. “I felt great when it was done, because other people could look at it and use the finished product.”