Art + Coding = HUGE Win!


Henrico21 Finalist Jessica Tran hit a home run with her coding light art project in Art 1!
A combination of coding, digital photography and photoshop made for a project students won’t soon forget.The Concept: In this project students had to create a digital work of art that they could sell to a client using Spheros to design light art.  The Spheros were coded to move under a camera with a 30 second exposure.  The camera picked up on the traces of light and the students were able to create digital artwork to be shared with a client.

My Favorite Part: My favorite part of this lesson was the very beginning when we introduced the Spheros and how to code them to the students.  We set up two challenges for students to complete in groups of 4.  The challenges were designed to introduce key coding features for the students and to push them to think critically.  The first challenge was an obstacle course in which the Sphero had to maneuver around a set of cups and finally stop before knocking over the tower of cups.  This challenge’s focus was to teach students how to code for turns, different speeds, distances and stops.

The second challenge was designed to teach students how to change colors with the sphero and utilize features like the strobe light.  A series of “X”s were placed on the ground each labeled with a different color or command.  The students had to code the spheros to land on the X and change to the color required.

The great part of introducing the Spheros in this way was that students were able to grapple with the ins and outs of coding before starting their project.  They were able to push past the struggle of failing and learn how to succeed without the pressure.  The next day when the project was introduced they were able to conceptualize their product and how to achieve it because they had already conquered the learning barrier of coding.

21st Century Skills: 
Communication + Collaboration — Students worked with their group to create art work that their “client” would purchase.  They had to collaborate with the client to make sure they were meeting their wants while also communicating and collaborating with their team to produce the desired artwork.
Critical Thinking + Problem Solving — Students were given a sketch of the artwork their client wanted they then had to think critically and figure out how to best code the Sphero to achieve the desired results.
Creativity + Innovation — Students artwork is 100% original and a product of coding and design.  Once they had coded the Sphero and taken the picture they could then use any photoshop tools to edit and change the original picture.

Deeper Learning Pillars: 
Student Owned and Authentic + Connected

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