South Allegheny students' design near completion
An after-school program designed to teach South Allegheny Elementary students about science and technology through the use of art is nearing completion.
The program, “Water, Art and Us,” began in October with students in third through sixth grades submitting ideas for a mosaic to artist in residence Laura Jean McLaughlin.
She then designed the artwork from their submissions, and a select group of about 25 fourth- through sixth-graders began working with ceramic tile, stained glass, mirrors and other materials to bring an aquatic adventure to life.
Students continued their efforts on Monday afternoon. McLaughlin will return to the school on May 16 to teach them how to grout.
“It's easier when you work together because you can get a lot more done,” said fourth-grader Megan Zrenchak.
“We used marbles (to) add some details,” fifth-grader Angel Losteter noted.
The mosaic is separated into 15 30-by-32-inch panels and features images such as an octopus, waves, a treasure chest, fish, a school bus and the sun. Its final form is projected to be 15 feet wide by 7 1⁄2 feet tall.
It will be hung in the elementary school lobby before the end of the school year. The reveal date has not been scheduled yet.
“They're doing really well,” elementary art teacher Gail Ungar said. “They know what they're doing. They can make their own mosaic.”
Students visited the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and explored water life on a RiverQuest trip on the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers.
“They're very clean,” Megan said of the rivers. “They have a lot of cool stuff in the water that you can see.”
“They taught us about the plankton and phytoplankton,” Angel said.
Fifth-grader Vienna Petruzzi said she liked working on the project with her fellow students better than doing such a project during the regular school day.
Fifth-grade reading teacher Jennifer Wachs said students read “Flush,” a book about water pollution in the Florida Everglades, as part of the program.
The program is a multi-funded effort with McLaughlin coming to the district through the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' partnership with the Arts in Education Division of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Students used technology to take digital photos of their progress and write a blog about their experiences. A link to the blog is posted on the district website www.southallegheny.org.
The district hosted staff and community days so employees and residents could take part in the project.
The next community day is Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the elementary school.
Sponsors of the project are the school district, the Consortium for Public Education, Pennsylvania State Education Association and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Fourth-grader Breena Komarnisky designed T-shirts for program participants.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.