At-home STEM Art

As a teaching artist for CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists) I develop lessons integrating art and STEM curriculum to deepen student learning and engagement. Please feel free to share and use these STEM based art projects I have created. Please tag any projects you make on social media #jessicalingfindley or email me pictures, I’d love to see them.


Covid Inventions:
Make Silly Serious Sculptures

Design a machine or tool that will help you do normal activities things you want or need to do while obeying the 6ft separation distance of the Corona Virus. This might end up looking like a silly invention or not quite be useful practically but the process will illustrate a read  design thinking process used to solve a problems.

Estimated time: 1-3 hours

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Objective / NGSS Standard Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6

  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. 
  • 3-5-ETS1-1 Engineering Design   Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. 

Make a Chia Monster Edible Topiary

Build your own hydroponic sculpture and watch it grow!

Estimated time: 30min – 1 hour

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NGSS Standards Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6

  • 3-LS1-1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death. 
  • 4-LS2-1  From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes – Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • 5-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
  • MS-LS1-6 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms. 

Seed Spreading Sculpture

Create a sculpture that disperses  seeds inspired by the way nature spreads seeds.

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NGSS Standard Grades 2

  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. 
  • LS2-2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics- Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.**
  • K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool. 

Songs for the Seas

The oceans are in danger and need your help! Learn about coral bleaching and share what you learn with your friends in a song!

Estimated time: 1-2 hours per part

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Songs for the Seas was created along with the Braving the High Seas Podcast to increase scientific understanding of climate change and ocean sciences to youth through song making. Students from 5th grade to high school interviewed Scripps’ scientists about climate change for the podcast series. The song making workshop lets the kids take ownership through creativity while discovering, processing and sharing new facts around climate change and ocean sciences.  

This workshop was designed by artist and educator Jessica Ling Findley in association with CoTA (Collaborations: teachers and artists) and was supported by Seaport Village, SPV Urban Planning and the Port of San Diego. The content was made with input from the scientists from Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

NGSS Grades 4, 5 & 6

  • MS-LS1-(4-6) From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes 

VAPA Music Standards 

  • Creating—Anchor Standard 1: Generate and Conceptualize Artistic Ideas and Work
  • Creating—Anchor Standard 2: Organize and Develop Artistic Ideas and Work
  • Creating—Anchor Standard 3: Refine and Complete Artistic Work
  • Performing—Anchor Standard 5: Develop and Refine Artistic Techniques and Work for Presentation 

English Literature Arts Standards

  • Reading Informational texts
  • Writing: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Speaking & Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

Waving with Light Waves

What can you see in the dark? Make an evening shadow puppet show for your neighbors and investigate light and shadow. 

Estimated time: 1-2 hours

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NGSS Standard Grades 1

  • 3-5-ETS1-1. 1-PS4-2 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated.

VAPA Standards 

  • 3.MA:Cr2 Form, share, and test ideas, plans, and/or models to prepare for media arts productions.

Watercolor Weather Report

How do we read the weather report? Create symbols to document in a charts the weather by your observations and compare that to the weather report.

Estimated time: 1-2 hours

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NGSS Standards

  • 3-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems – Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.

ELA Standards

  • Writing Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. 
  • Reading Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. 

VAPA Standards

  • 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 Enduring Understanding