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Design your Dream Park


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Eva Behren's sixth grade students at Dixon Elementary, under the direction of STEMart artist Dienke Nauta, have built models of their dream town park. Students have considered ratio and proportion as they designed the size of their model against the measurements of what would be considered a real park. Students have created artistic installations such as sculptures or labyrinths,and fountains as well as practical features of parks, such as walking ...paths and swimming pools.
This project was designed to help sixth graders make those essential learning connections with their math concepts while experimenting with 3-D models of their own creation. The theme of a park had so much potential that students could really play and experiment with the designs and the math.
Students showed their projects at the LANL Foundation building


Course Objective:

Students will design a park for their community in Dixon, New Mexico. The concept of the park will be approached as an art project / installation. Dixon has an unused baseball field which will be used for the imaginary park. The students have to measure this spot and make a floor plan as well as a scale model of their design of the park. The STEMArt teacher, Dienke Nauta, will talk about the gardens of Versailles, the Gaudi park in Barcelona, the installation ‘The Gates’ by Christo in Central Park New York, and more, to give the students some ideas and to be able to contextualize. This will be in a historical, social, environmental and educational context.

Their individual concept of the park relates to what kind of greens they want to use, how the park relates to the village or not, what kind of art they want to show and how to express their idea; organic or strict, colorful or not, functional or non functional, social or solitude, easy to approach or not, beautiful or ugly, and all the grey areas in between.


Math Standards explored through workshop:

5-8 Benchmark N.2: Understand the meaning of operations and how they relate to one another.

Performance Standards
6.N.2.1 Calculate multiplication and division problems using contextual situations.
6.N.2.2 Factor a whole number into a product of its primes.
6.N.2.3 Demonstrate the relationship and equivalency among ratios and percents.
6.N.2.4 Use proportions to solve problems.   

5-8 Benchmark A.1: Understand patterns, relations, and functions.

Performance Standards
6.A.1.1 Solve problems involving proportional relationships.
6.A.1.2 Graph ordered pairs in the coordinate plane.
6.A.1.3 Explain and use symbols to represent unknown quantities and variable relationships.
6.A.1.4 Explain and use the relationships among ratios, proportions, and percents.
6.A.1.5 Make generalizations based on observed patterns and relationships.
5-8 Benchmark M.1: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.

Performance Standards
6.M.1.1 Perform multi-step conversions of measurement units to equivalent units within a given system (e.g., 36 inches equals 3
feet or 1 yard).
6.M.1.2 Estimate measurement in both U.S. customary and metric units.
6.M.1.3 Select and use units of appropriate size and type to measure angles (e.g., degrees, radians), perimeter, area, and capacity in both U.S. customary and metric systems.
6.M.1.4 Use standard units of linear measurement to the nearest sixteenth of an inch; metric measurements to the nearest millimeter.

5-8 Benchmark M.2: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.

Performance Standards
6.M.2.1 Apply various measurement techniques and tools, units of measure, and degrees of accuracy to find accurate rational number representations for length, liquid, weight, perimeter, temperature, and time.
6.M.2.2 Select and use formulas for perimeters of squares and rectangles.
6.M.2.3 Select and use strategies to estimate measurements including angle measure and capacity.
6.M.2.4 Select and justify the selection of measurement tools, units of measure, and degrees of accuracy appropriate to the given situation.