K-12 Students and Teachers Take Music Technology, Engineering, and Creativity to the Max
Jul 10, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
On Saturday, March 7th, 2020, GoSTEAM* at Georgia Tech hosted 72 middle and high school students at the 2nd annual STEAM Innovation Workshop. The event allowed students to engage in hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) activities on-campus at Georgia Tech.
Students from Atlanta, Gwinnett, and Clayton County Public Schools arrived on the Georgia Tech campus in the early afternoon and were greeted by Mir Jeffres, a student from the Georgia Tech Music Technology Program.
After, the students attended five unique breakout workshops to engage in STEAM activities and learn first-hand from Georgia Tech faculty and community professionals. The first workshop, Making Video from Music, was led by Cycling ’74 members Prof. Adam Rokshar and Ashley Bellouin. The workshop taught students how to make eye-catching visuals that automatically reacted to their music using the provided materials and interactive media software, Max.
Workshops two through five were presented by GoSTEAM teachers and GoSTEAM Innovators in Residence. The workshops included EarSketch on Coding and Composing, Electronic Musical Instrument Design using Micro-Bits, Prototyping Puppets and Storytelling, and Touch Boards and Audio Engineering.
Later, Prof. Adam Roksar spoke to the workshop attendees about his background in Music Technology. Prof. Rokshar is currently a Music Technology faculty member from New York University (NYU). In the past, he has worked with companies such as Converse, Microsoft, Ableton, and Splice where he has utilized his skills as a musician, animator, and programmer.
GoSTEAM partnered with Prof. Jason Freeman from the Georgia Tech School of Music which allowed students to attend the Art, Music, and Technology fair following the keynote presentation. The fair gave students the opportunity to experience groundbreaking art and technology projects and discuss interactive projects with creators.
To conclude the event, the participating students had the opportunity to attend the Margaret Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition, where music technology innovators from around the world showcased their original musical instruments. GoSTEAM Program Directors, Sabrina Grossman, and Analía Rao were invited on stage to discuss the GoSTEAM Program and the STEAM Innovation Workshop that took place earlier in the day in the context of Guthman.
Finalists were paired with a skilled Atlanta musician to present their instruments in a one-of-kind Concert performance for an audience of all ages. One of those musicians was GoSTEAM Teacher, Mr. Shannon Ladson, from Kemp Elementary School who performed on stage with one of the finalists of the competition.
Summer Teacher Workshops
GoSTEAM K-12 teachers come from both the technical and art domains, and they actively collaborate to create innovative STEAM programs and activities for their students. During a normal summer, GoSTEAM teachers come to the Georgia Tech campus to share what they have done in their classrooms, to learn new skills, to brainstorm new STEAM innovations, and to plan for the upcoming year. Due to Covid-19, the 2020 professional development was shifted online to BlueJeans. Teachers met daily for 3 weeks in June with the whole group as well as in smaller collaborative groups.
GoSTEAM teachers created instruments with "Micro:bits" and puppets using LEDs and buzzers; they explored issues of social justice, and voice and choice; and they designed assessment plans for their classroom innovations. They also teamed up to create video performances featuring musical instruments, poetry, singing, drama, social commentary, and humor. One, titled “I Need Coffee”, can be viewed at https://b.gatech.edu/2ODMemq. While melding engineering and computer science with art, music, and drama, the goal of the summer was to energize the teachers and to introduce them to new strategies and technologies.
*The GoSTEAM Program is a 5-year partnership between the Georgia Institute of Technology and schools in the metro-Atlanta area to create model STEAM PreK-12 programs that focus on Computer Science and Engineering and that incorporate the arts (including Fine Arts, Media Arts, Theater Arts, and Music) in authentic and compelling ways that promote positive STEAM identity.
By Shannon Malone - CEISMC Communications