STEM Gets an A at Montclair Cooperative School

Young Audiences Champion Award

L-R: Jacqueline Knox – Arts Education Program Associate; Debbie Harner; Dawne Weaver; Michele Russo – President and CEO, Young Audiences NJ and Eastern PA.

On Wednesday, October 5, Dawne Weaver, Director of Auxiliary Programs, and Debbie Harner, Art Teacher, at Montclair Cooperative School, received the Young Audiences Arts Champion Award from Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, the region’s largest art education organization, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to schools in the area. The organization presented the award to the two educators at the General Membership Meeting of the school community.

The honor was in recognition of the extraordinary work the two women did in creating and implementing a unique type of STEAM program at the school, one in which art served as the nexus for uniting the arts, science, math and technology into the upper school curriculum. A kinetic sculptor, Ben Pranger, assisted, funded by The Artists-in-Education Residency Grant, a partnership between Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania and the
New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Dawne and Debbie, in collaboration with Science teacher Nancy Bates and Math teacher Meredith Kates, fashioned a multi-year program for upper school students to create wind-powered sculptures. This year, the third for the program, the student will build upon the previous years and, with guidance from Mr. Pranger, will create kinetic puppets in an imaginary world, an idea inspired by the famous Calder’s Circus of Alexander Calder, the films of George Melies, and Coney Island (where a field trip is planned). The culmination of their efforts will be a performance of their work.

“These dramatic and fascinating sculptures created by the children are emblematic of the education they receive here at the Co-op,” explained Namita Tolia, Head of School. “Opportunities to combine imaginative play with concepts from academic disciplines such as science and math fuel creativity and are found here in every grade.”

2017-11-06T12:59:26+00:00 October 6th, 2016|