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Plastic Art (Grades 3-8)* 

Look around you, and chances are high that a variety of the things you see are made of plastics. There are hard plastics and soft plastics, clear ones and colorful ones, and plastics that look like leather, wood, or metal. Developed during the twentieth century, plastics have changed the world! 

As much as PLASTIC has made the world better, plastic is also a source of pollution.  We will be asking students/parents to provide certain class materials so we "recycle" existing plastic into works of art.

Together we will make a list of what we can do to limit the use of plastic to save the planet and spread the news that plastic can be a fascinating artistic medium!

Day 1:  Polymers are Everywhere!

Plastics are polymers, but polymers don't have to be plastics. The way plastics are made is actually a way of imitating nature, which has created a huge number of polymers. Cellulose, the basic component of plant cell walls is a polymer, and so are all the proteins produced in your body and the proteins you eat. Another famous example of a polymer is DNA - the long molecule in the nuclei of your cells that carries all the genetic information about you.

People have been using natural polymers, including silk, wool, cotton, wood, and leather for centuries. These products inspired chemists to try to create synthetic counterparts, which they have done with amazing success.

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Day 2: Different Natures of Plastic

First in liquid form using acrylic paint, we will use different acrylic mediums to create our own flexible plastic. Plastic wrap can be used to make textures on paintings or as a surface for printmaking. Plastic can be used in image transfers and applied to any flat surface.

 

Day 3: Plastic into Sculpture

Students will use shellac paints and wire to create shiny transparent forms that can be adapted into sculpture. Mobiles will be referenced, especially the work of Alexander Calder.

 

Day 4: Creative Uses of Plastic

Explore melting soft plastic into hard plastic. Students will learn which plastic can be drawn on and reheated to form small tiles and jewelry. Plastic bags when cut into strips can be woven into a basket or knit into plastic fabric. 

Day 5: Gallery Show

Finish up all projects and prepare for our afternoon gallery presentation.

As much as PLASTIC has made the world better, plastic is also a source of pollution. Discussions about the social and environmental implications of plastic will help us understand more about this material in a larger context. 

Finally, we will conclude by recognizing that as humans we are all here to protect the planet. Together we will make a list of what we can do to limit the use of plastic and spread the news that plastic can be a fascinating artistic medium!

 

Planned Field Trips: de Young Museum, Parks/Playgrounds


  • This course is taught in ENGLISH. Sky Kids reserves the right to change course content.
  • Final field trip schedules will be communicated before the start of each camp week.