Organising institution: European Development Agency (EUDA)
Country: Czech Republic
Key question: How big is the impact of contemporary human civilization and its behavior on the change of ocean environment?
Objectives: Track optimal and real ocean environment through art creation.
Time: 3 lessons (1 lesson = 2h 15min)
Software and apps to be used: VR Ocean, Amazing Ocean, Fresh Paint, iMovie/Movie Maker/Sony Vegas
Brief presentation: This project will show up two faces of ocean environment – the optimal and the real one – through students own art creation. By observing education application of sea animals life they create by classic painting one real animal its close environment and by the experimental digital way one fantasy creature from the deep ocean. Next tasks will focus on ocean pollution by civilization when students will pollute their artwork with plastic trash. This open discussion what does it mean for sea environment. It will graduate with a task when students have to cook a meal from the plastic trash and shoot a short movie which will reflect gained knowledge and their attitude to this global problem.
Topics covered: Sea animals, ocean environment, plastic pollution, global problems – local solutions.
Civic engagement: This project will mention that even though some environmental problems is not in our backyard, everything is connected in some way. So it shows how important is to think in global dimensions and that that you can start with some changes on your personal level. This DA could be presented on “World Oceans Day” (8th June) where would be shown the exhibition of student’s art creation: paintings, video/movie projection. Next, to this, it would be appropriate to realize some discussions with biologist and ecologist and also film projection – for example, documentary “A Plastic Ocean”. Possible is also to realize some workshop focus on this theme – for example: create own bag for shopping (already sewed, ready to cover with some design through a stencil) or create own badges with a message to others.
Preparation of space for the Atelier:
- Observing life in the Ocean: Can be realized inside or outside and doesn’t need any extra condition.
- Known sea animals: materials in the middle of one big table where students sit around it / or classic arrangement of class.
- Unknown sea animals: darkened classroom.
- Cooking from plastic: trash bin or box of plastic of one big table where students sit around it.
- Observing life in the Ocean: iPads + apps.
- Known sea animals: papers, watercolors, tempera colors, brushes, oil, and soft pastels.
- Unknown sea animals: PS/tablets/IPads + app FreshPaint, cardboards to blind windows, tape, DSLR camera, (projector).
- Cooking from plastic: plastic garbage, dishes cellphones (shooting movie by students), PC + Movie Maker / Sony Vegas (editing by the teacher).
Main inspirations taken from personal research:
- Ocean ecosystem and its role on the Earth.
- Deep creatures.
- Plastic packaging.
- Nonprofit organizations.
- Garbage in art creation.
Mass media and social media connections:
- Documentary movie “A Plastic Ocean”.
- Video of Deep Creatures.
- Nonprofit campaigns with ecological themes.
How do you plan to give voice to students to present or show their personal skills and knowledge? Task “Cooking from plastic” goes to the question about how they can use their artwork as a moral message to the other people. It leads to the shooting short movie which is a kind of reflection of gain knowledge through the whole atelier.
Introducing students to the key question – the research begins: Do you know why is Earth called “Blue planet”? Normally we can’t observe the ocean in the Czech Republic, but for today we can bring part of it in here…
- Action that unfolds the practical activity to clarify the question: Question: What do you know about live in the ocean? What animals do you know? Observing life in the Ocean Through two apps focused on sea life, students get in touch with quite hidden parts of the world for them. App VR Ocean brings animals living in the sea to students surroundings. App Amazing Ocean shows the most famous animals in the sea from the top to the bottom in the very good graphic way. This app is more educational and brings important information in the really great way.
- Active work of the students: (Known sea animals) Paint one real animal and its close environment. (They could use photos from the app or books or search for some on the internet.)
- Presentation of findings and results (visualization of information): Align all paintings together and talk about the similarities and differences of each species. Try to find different arrangements based on specific reasons (depth of occurrence, kind of sea animal).
- Analysis of results: The motivation through those 2 apps was really interesting for the students and it could also work as a connection with the different task then art study if you are not the teacher of art.
Project/design phase – part 1
- Second action that unfolds the practical activity: Question: What is the less known part of the Earth? Watching the video of deep sea creatures.
- Active work of the students: (Unknown sea animals) Create own fantasy creature from the deep ocean with using app Fresh paint (PC/tablet); Upload pictures to a self-phone or tablet/iPad; In the completely dark room (with using a glowing screen with picture) imitate a motion of a creature in the water; This light show is recorded on a DSLR camera.
- Presentation of findings and results (visualization of information): Projection of video with discussion and student’s reflection.
- Analysis of results: The performance of smartphones or tablets gives a lot of space for experimentation. Children experimented with the possibility of how to show their animal. They covered, turned, tilted their devices to get optimal way how to imitate 3D animal on its 2D image.
Project/design phase – part 2
- Third action that unfolds the practical activity: Question: How does look the ocean nowadays? Plastic pollution: Install plastic trash into painting what open discussion how danger could be this pollution for the animal; Take a photo of the new version of pictures.
- Active work of the students: Cooking from plastic: Imagine what would be for you to have plastics instead normal meal; Search for pieces of plastic trash with some specific qualities (shapes, structures, colors) which remind them of some real dish; Then “cook” it; Create together a story and shoot as a short movie. Focus on camera shots, angle, movement, and composition. (Final cut and postproduction are up to the teacher.)
- Presentation of findings and results (visualization of information): Projection of movie with discussion and student’s reflection.
- Analysis of results: Main of the students had come with the basic skills of camera and photo-apps using as daily smartphones users. So this task opened them the possibility to focus more or film part of using – composition, camera shots, angle, movement from the very beginning. After introducing this basic camera rules students shot the movie. Final cut and postproduction were up to the teacher.
Approach to a new software or a new app: Application Fresh paint represents a digital alternative to the classic art disciplines in a very sophistic way, so you can choose for example from watercolor or acrylic painting. It simulates a real painting really great. And it is really easy to use it because of the simple and nice graphic design of the app.
Links between the Digital Atelier and real life of the students: This DA mentions that even though some environmental problems are not in our backyard, everything is connected in some way. So it shows how important is to think in global dimensions and that you can start with some changes on your personal level. (Great example for students could be the story of Boyan Slat and his Cleanup system.)
How do you plan to evaluate knowledge and skills? Through dialogs during all DA and through the final one after projection when the main question is: What can you do (as one human being)? How you can help?
Conclusion: This DA was designed for the youngest of App Your School project. It could work well as the first experience with technologies by the creative and educational way. The teacher can show the students several possibilities how to use differently the most common for them. I this DA is for teacher necessary to have sufficient knowledge and skills of film production (shooting, cut..).