Venice, CA – P.S. ARTS and students from Lucille J. Smith Elementary School in Lawndale, CA, have been invited by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) to model examples of high-quality STEAM classroom projects – projects that integrate the “A” for arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula – at the White House on May 20th. The White House “STEAM Fair” will be hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and the PCAH to celebrate the success of the Turnaround Arts initiative, a PCAH program to help turn around low-performing schools and increase student achievement through arts education. The Fair will showcase schools and arts organizations from across the country with model STEAM classroom projects.
As a partner to the Turnaround Arts initiative and one of the most highly regarded arts education service organizations in Southern California, P.S. ARTS was invited to the White House to demonstrate its approach to arts and math integration. Students in the Lawndale Elementary School District have received weekly P.S. ARTS classes for eight years due in large part to the generosity of the Herb Alpert Foundation.
“P.S. ARTS is honored to be invited to participate in this event,” said Dr. Kristen Paglia, P.S. ARTS Executive Director of Education & Programs. “The bright, creative students from the Lawndale Elementary School District who will be demonstrating P.S. ARTS’ STEAM project are the best evidence of the role of the arts in student achievement and overall school improvement!”
Dr. Paglia will be attending the White House STEAM Fair along with P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Benjamin Morales and Smith Elementary students Nicholas Hernandez (age 10) and Pamela Hernandez (age 11), whose flights were all generously donated by Delta Air Lines, the official airline of P.S ARTS. These students were selected to represent P.S. ARTS at the Fair because they thrive in their arts classes and exhibit poise, creativity, and civic leadership. They will demonstrate their creative skills to Fair attendees, including The First Lady, public officials, celebrities, and philanthropic partners of the Turnaround Arts initiative.
P.S. ARTS was asked to model the Orbit Tower Project developed by Morales for his 4th grade visual arts classes in the Lawndale Elementary School District. This project explores the work of sculptor Anish Kapoor to reinforce the properties of shapes and lines and enhance design skills. Through this project, students reflect on the purpose of public art and the significance of monuments, as well as the relationship between form and function in art and architecture. Hernandez and Hernandez will demonstrate the creation of the structure from the design to the construction phase.