The STEAM Monster Design Challenge is the educational component of the PASEO Party on the Plaza event happening on September 23, 2017. The challenge is a Taos County call for middle and high school student submissions based on the work of this year's featured Paseo artist Motomichi Nakamura. Motomichi’s Tiny People and Giant Monster series incorporates the Monster as a mythological character to explore environmental issues. This webpage provides submission guidelines, lesson tools and resources for participating teachers to organize a STEAM activity that culminates with students inventing their own original STEAM monster that allows for exploring fear, heroism, unlikely alliances, or even humor. All entries will be showcased on the Paseo Project website with ‘Best of’ categories. Winners of the challenge will have their monsters projected onto buildings around the plaza alongside the featured artist’s work.

Paseo Artist 2017

"Creatures and monsters come in various types, some are scary, some are funny and cute deep sea creatures. My idea is that the various monsters will come visit Taos Plaza from various places just for the night and play around. Also, I always like the idea that the digital projection doesn't leave any physical trace after the installation which kind of reminds me of ghosts, spirits or mythical creatures.

I am very excited about visiting Taos surrounded by enormous nature and will probably feel overwhelmed and inspired by that. We tend to forget, in modern times, that we are still part of nature and become narrow minded or selfish. We see ourselves in the center of everything. When you place yourself in the greatness of nature you realize how small we are on the earth and to respect nature. We need to find a way to live in harmony with nature and among other living beings. Many monsters were created by our ancestors as a way to communicate their fear and respect to the greatness of the wild nature that they lived in. Through this project I am hoping that the participants will create monsters inspired by the nature that surrounds them."  Motomichi Nakamura

 

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Who is eligible?

All middle schools and high schools are invited to submit entries from their students. This can be a public school, charter school, homeschool, or any group that works with kids in this age range.

What is the purpose of the Design Challenge?

The Design Challenge is part of the STEMarts@The Paseo Youth Program; a series of educational workshops that go into the schools, allowing students to collaborate with PASEO artists exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in their art making process. Students learn valuable STEM skills through creative expression, social practice and collaboration, and are empowered as their creations become part of a real world event. We believe that the challenge and potential of STEAM education in the future is for all students to have access to the latest technologies and 21st century thinking. The PASEO is the perfect platform for teachers and students to use these tools to play, explore and imagine a better world.

What is a STEAM Monster?

A STEAM monster can be one that embodies both an environmental challenge and/or innovative solution no matter how outrageous or silly. In addition to concerns about climate change and the environment, youth are invited to reflect and expand on the concept of monsters and consider its relevance to their own internal experience. They will be encouraged to explore various cultural expressions of monsters and to write about concerns ranging from personal to global. For example a STEAM Monster can emerge in response to the climate change crisis with an energy power never seen before, or it can come from a story told by their elders. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics so the STEAM Monster can be a design informed by any of these disciplines. Regardless of the roots of the exploration, the final entry must be an original image.


What is the PASEO: Party on the Plaza?

The final event hosted by the Paseo Project is a monumental immersive art party that takes place on Taos Plaza. Projection art will transform the plaza's adobe buildings, a silent dance party will move five hundred bodies at a time throughout the evening, and two fire sculptures will set the plaza aglow as visitors are invited to participate in a mass virtual photo booth installation. The Paseo Project is partnering with other Taos groups to add to the festivities. Twirl Play & Discovery Space will present Eye Play, an immersive optical illusion experience and hands-on maker activity to engage youth and families. Partner galleries and businesses will join the party by staying open late and hosting participatory experiences to engage the curious of all ages. History will merge with fantasy, monsters will be exposed, world music will meet Taos traditions. Mark your calendars and spread the word!