Computers, cameras and microphones aren't the typical Christmas tree ornaments, but area pupils adorned trees Dec. 4 at National Science Center's Fort Discovery with the handmade miniatures.
Pupils from Harlem and Westside high schools, Riverside Middle School and two home-school groups decorated five Christmas trees and the center's second-floor rails with nearly 500 handmade ornaments, according to Fort Discovery's marketing director, Kathi Dimmock.
Harlem High School students were given a week to use nonclass time to make holiday decorations incorporating science, according to Harlem High's art teacher, Margaret Shearouse. She and technology teacher Angie Simpson brought 35 students to decorate the center. The teachers said the assignment shows students how art and technology are linked.
"Some have used used light bulbs, and the idea is making use of discarded items," Ms. Simpson said.
Eighteen-year-old Anna Williams, who participated for the second year, said she had fun making a computer screen from paper and a wreath from ribbon and leftover garland.
Harlem High School senior Anna Williams decorates a Christmas tree at Fort Discovery.
Photo by C. Samantha McKevie
Harlem senior Shannon Krzywda said she made a hot-air balloon using tissue paper, pipe cleaners and construction paper, and a Christmas tree from recycled circuit boards.
"It was fun. It was a great learning experience," she said.
Ms. Dimmock said the idea grew out of a desire six years ago to have children involved in decorating the center.
"It started because of a need to decorate for the holidays, and it's a science center so we decided to invite school kids," she said. "Harlem High was the first to sign up and they stuck with us all six years."
Ms. Shearouse said she's surprised by the diversity she sees from year to year.
"Some of the students have been doing this for several years. It's amazing we don't get repeated items," she said.
Ultimately, Harlem's teachers want their students to learn the practical uses of technology. The teachers said they believe the project helps students prepare for their futures.
"One thing we want students to understand is that technology influences every part of life," Ms. Simpson said.
"Each ornament has to be designed, and they know there are so many career opportunities for that - like architecture and others," Ms. Shearouse said.
Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or email@example.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.