Fifth graders get a dose of the arts and collegeFebruary 14, 2017
Approximately 80 fifth graders from Bloomington’s Bent Elementary School stopped by Heartland on February 10 to see what college is all about and dabble in a few classes.
Throughout the day, the fifth graders rotated between stations that touched on the arts, science and technology. Students stopped in the McCauley Art Gallery where Bent art teacher Amy Wolfe’s work is currently on display. They also had the opportunity to create art in the drawing studio, utilize digital media to produce a weather broadcast and get a lesson in basic taxonomy at the Heartland zoo.
The event was organized by Wolfe and HCC art gallery coordinator Danell Dvorak. With a 75 percent poverty rate, Wolfe and Dvorak wanted to get Bent students early exposure to college and provide a day of enrichment with classes.
“It’s important to introduce students to college early so they can visualize themselves there in the future,” said Dvorak. “Some of these students come from families who are unfamiliar with college so we want to expose them to the atmosphere.”
The day also highlighted career options in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) with instructors providing insight into what they do for a living. For Wolfe in particular, she wanted her students to see what she does outside the classroom. “Art is all around. We often communicate visually and I want to teach these students how to be critical and analytical of what they see around them. I also want them to know you don’t have to go to a big city to see art. We have a thriving artist community right here.”
Dvorak adds, “We also wanted this day to demonstrate how the arts are integrated into every discipline. No matter what a person does, it takes creativity, analysis and emotional intelligence to make decisions, solve problems and be successful.”
See more photos of the event on Heartland's flickr page. (Photographer: Audrey Stickrod)
Written by: Becky Gropp