We're making Community Lemonade in Long Beach, CA. Come and make lemonade with us!
! I'm on a 100 day odyssey for community and creativity in Long Beach, CA. We've got such an amazing city, and I'm a huge fan! I want to share it with you! I'm seeking out the creatives and the facilitators of creativity. The art and the locations that inspire art. Bringing them to you, here in this blog, and to others, on the streets of Long Beach.
I call it .
Today was Day 8 of Making Lemonade. I visited with a Dynamic Duo of creativity
Disclosure: Before I begin, I should share that Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together in these past few years as Michelle, Jennifer Crans and I toiled (and continue to do so) to bring engineering activities to elementary and middle school children through the Shared Science non-profit organization.
It takes all kinds to make an organization go, and Michelle is a star at coordinating, keeping things on track and ensuring smooth execution of the activities in which she participates. This, she loves to do.
Her ability to see art and her instinct on what motivates a person to take action were useful in her role in advertising where she often facilitated discussions between graphic artists and clients, analyzing the client's needs so as to come up with the right advertising solution. (Are you thinking?... Mad Men! I am!)
If your child attended Lowell Elementary School in the past 5 years, you probably know Michelle, who has coordinated the Meet the Masters art program for much of this time. She also has been the Lowell PTA Webmaster, and the creative behind this year's 5th grade yearbook.
Michelle works vigorously to advance youth art and science education, a passion we share.
Beside having an appreciation for art, Michelle paints in acrylics... for herself, for her friends, sometimes on commission.
Erik Elstad's creative gene might be traced to his father, professional artist and art instructor Ron Elstad, who paints in oils in a "contemporary, representational" style.
Erik's creative medium is... LEGO!
Perhaps you've seen this spark in your child. Incessantly building with LEGO. Assembling a kit, only to immediately disassemble it and create something else. Again and again. Making representations of visions only he can see.
Erik received his first LEGO set at age 6. He loved LEGO. Loved it so much! I wish I could tell you that he still has them, but... sadly... at age 13 he traded them with a friend for an - almost - complete set of... wait for it... Garbage Pail Kids trading cards!!!
However, Erik again saw the LEGO light when he purchased a Technics Pneumatic set in 1997. Parts moved, it did things! He was in college at the time, and as you might imagine, took a fair amount of ribbing for his renewed interest in LEGO. He took it a step further... a few steps further... by building models to convey Biology concepts to his high school students.
When Erik talks about his models, my eyes glaze over a bit... It's been a while since I've taken Biology. Let's see if I can say this... He waxes fantastic about his DNA replicator model, the oh-so-precise model of RNA. There are more. He creates, disassembles, re-creates. Each step taken so as to enable the next. Erik buys some kits just for the parts. Some of the kits he purchases are never assembled in their original form.
Michelle + Erik = The Dynamic Duo of Creative Curriculum!
Curriculum is valuable when it conveys the the right amount of information in the right form, at the right level. Too much information, too complex information, too high an audience level and you have - nothing.
Michelle and Erik work together to bring their fantastic ideas into a classroom of elementary school aged children, mindful of safety, engagement and at the same time learning.
Some tidbits I left with today
- Hm... I must go to see this in play!
- There's still time to sign up for Shared Science's second and third weeks of camp! Want to sign up? email email@example.com.
- Session II: WHY, that’s so FAST (Grades 1-5) July 10-12, 9:15 a.m. – noon. Constructors will explore distance, time and speed.
- Radical Robotics Two London Olympiad: July 10-12, 9:15 to noon. Participants will program LEGO Mindstorm NXT robots and compete for the gold in a series of "Olympic Games".
- Session III: PUMP UP the Volume (Grades 1-5) July 17-19, 9:15 to noon. Grades 1-5 explores pressure, volume and temperature using LEGO pneumatic pistons.
Related reads on the Belmont Shore Patch
Day 9: Barry Rothstein, 3D Photographer
Tomorrow I visit with Barry Rothstein, your friendly, neighborhood 3Der! I bet you didn't know there's one in Long Beach!
Want more lemonade?
Need to contact me? firstname.lastname@example.org