Pressure to Power: Arts Express 2015

With another successful two days of inspiring presenters, the importance of the arts has been reinforced in the minds of all those who attended the annual Arts Express Conference. This year’s conference was titled “Converting Pressure to Power with STEAM.” Focusing on arts integration with the Utah Core Standards in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, each session featured authentic ways of bringing the arts into the classroom and reinforcing student learning in creative and new ways.

Keynote speaker Susan Antonelli, author of the Wonder Teacher blog, helped participants learn about the importance of using science journals to engage students in creative inquiry, thinking, and exploring. Science instruction can then be elevated to a place where creative inquiry is respected and encouraged.

Marcus Shelby, professional artist and performer, combined United States history and blues music in a skillful performance showcasing the natural relationship that the arts have with the core academic subject areas.

Using Pringles cans, yoga balls, drum-sticks, paint, and even bananas, participants discovered creative ways to help express themselves through their own artistic abilities in the various breakout sessions they attended.

Here are a few photos and comments on the breakout sessions:

Participants in Tara Carpenter and
Jayme Gandara’s session
“Teaching Visual Arts”
 Listening to Jana Shumway’s
session”Full STEAM Ahead to
Connect Math and Dance”
Creating robots in Steve Shumway’s session “Artistic Robots”

“I am amazed. Great hands-on learning. I am going to have my students do this as part of my science unit.”

           —Rachael Greenwood on Steve Shumway’s session “Artistic Robots”
Learning new ways to teach music in Jane Nelson’s session “10-Minute Music Energizers”
“I loved this.  I teach K-6 so I got many ideas to use when I only have a few minutes.”
             – Gayle Bleak on Jane Nelson’s Session “10-Minute Music Energizers”

Getting participants to move in Angela Challis and Paul Nance’s session “Science That Moves You”

“The BEST class!  The science lessons were applicable to me and the dancing was fun and engaging.  We were given lesson plans and music as well.  I will definitely use this in 2nd grade.” 
– Christy Nielson on Paul Nance and Angela Challis’ Session “Science That Moves You”

Final Arts Celebration

“The drumming performance inspired me to find creative ways for my kids to interpret music and poetry. So great!”
—Alyssa Larsen on Arts Celebration of Drums Alive

“We have to integrate the arts into our classroom because this could be one of our kids’ true passions.”
—Wendy Cope, Alpine School District

Witness the magic in action and find photos of you and your friends from Arts Express 2015: Converting Pressure to Power with Steamclick here.

Presenters and participants from the conference reflect on the value of the arts in education.

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