This semester a group of Fourth grade students from High Tech Explorer Elementary embarked on a journey to learn about some of San Diego’s tidepool critters. These students demonstrated their knowledge base of the creatures through the fusion of art and technology.
Students joined our ranger-led Intertidal Exploration program to get familiar with the tidepool ecosystem and the organisms that live here. They were then assigned a species to investigate as they ventured along into the 3D Cabrillo curriculum. Students used the park’s classroom set of ipods to capture 25-30 pictures of an object to create a 3D file online. During a hands-on workshop in their classroom, these young scientists learned how to edit a 3D file and save it in a way that is available for print on any 3D printer. Back at Cabrillo National Monument, we utilized our 3D printer to print dozens of tidepool creatures. During our last visit into the classroom, students put their artistic abilities to the test using acrylic paint to fully cultivate a 3D biomodel. After the exhibition, students agreed to donate these 3D biomodels to Cabrillo’s tidepool volunteers as educational tools.
Beyond our direct partnership with these students, these young scientists went above and beyond using a multitude of art and research in regards to their species. Each student created a watercolor piece replicating their 3D biomodel, species signs illustrating the animal and its demographics, a haiku about the species defense mechanisms, a “choose your adventure” story, and a scientific journal with an associated food web and illustrations.