GlassRoots classes for youth in 5th through 12th grades are grounded in STEAM (STEM + Art) and enhance classroom work with real life experience. Our programs are offered at our studios and, with limitations, at your school. When students visit GlassRoots they have the opportunity to visit one, two or three art studios, known as the Flame Shop, the Flat Shop or the Hot Shop. All glass art projects include lessons on basic color and design theory, and introduction to and practice with glass tools.
STEM Education No material inspires more creativity than glass! Scientists and artists alike have revered glass for the way it handles light and color, changes shape and take on new forms, while maintaining stability and strength. Artists, architects, engineers, and designers are turning to glass for its stunning characteristics. Glass is a natural material for joining art and STEM education in both practical and creative ways. Student enhance math skills by making sense of problems and persevering in solving them, reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing viable arguments, modeling with mathematics, using appropriate tools strategically, attending to precision, looking for and making use of structure, looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.
Glass can demonstrate and help students understand core concepts and principles of science and use measurement and observation tools to assist in categorizing, representing, and interpreting the natural and designed world. GlassRoots’ scientific vocabulary and terminology include gravity, viscosity, temperature, gas/heat, chemicals, mandrel, torch, vermiculite among many others.
For Earth Science educators, in collaboration with Rutgers – Newark’s Earth Science Department, GlassRoots offers the Glass Volcano Experience, a hands-on STEAM-based workshop that uses molten glass to teach 6-12th grade students about the science and behavior of volcanoes. The Glass Volcano Experience is a two-hour workshop which includes four interactive components:
A video presentation describing volcanoes and their behavior;
A hands-on Flame Shop experience in which students work with fire and glass to simulate lava behavior by creating “Pele’s tears” and “hair,” products of Strombolian volcanic eruptions;
A Flat Shop experience in which students learn about obsidian, aka volcanic glass, and are able to smash glass causing a ripple pattern that mimics that of volcanic rocks; and
A Hot Shop observing molten glass that is heated to 2000 degrees simulating lava flow and how it reacts to various environmental features.
Visual and Performing Arts The Creative Process: All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theater and visual art. Performance: Incorporate various art elements and the principles of balance, harmony, unity, emphasis, proportion, and rhythm/movement in the creation of two- and three- dimensional artworks, using a broad array of art media and art mediums to enhance the expression of creative ideas (e.g., perspective, implied space, illusionary depth, value, and pattern).
Social Studies All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century. At GlassRoots, mosaic making can be custom-designed to include the history of Classic Roman Mosaics and glass beading in the Flame Shop can include the history of African Trade beads, the principles behind trade beads used as currency.
English Language Arts/Writing/Literacy All students will write in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes. Literacy and Writing exercises at GlassRoots can be customized in collaboration with in-school ELA teacher. For example, existing short writing assignments can be critiqued for descriptive images that can be translated into a mosaic piece. After the mosaic piece is complete, students can write from one to three paragraphs describing the artistic process and how s/he arrived at the final image, design, color and execution. Students can discuss how a written image informs visual art and how a mosaic image informs one’s writing. Haiku, short poetry, and “motto” exercises can be brainstormed, discussed and then written first on paper followed by learning how to translate the writing to glass etching on glass tiles. Students can also work in groups to brainstorm a class motto, dream, belief or message that they translate into a large mosaic to be installed at their school.
21st Century Learning Making glass art in any of our studios requires students to be able to:
Work in partners or teams
Listen and communicate well, using their bodies and words to do so,
Think critically, observe and solve problems
Collaborate with their peers
Express themselves creatively
Engaging kids in a fully absorbing activity like glass making truly transforms lives by igniting a passion in them, leading them to stay in school, graduate, and be prepared for college or work, thereby fostering life-long learning and creative self-expression.