The local elementary school has been hosting a STEM (Science* Technology* Engineering* Math) night for many years. It was a cross between a science fair and a robotics team demonstration. Since the college art department has gotten involved, it is now called STEAM because we added the “A” for ART. Pair the STEAM night with an added book fair from the library, and a local pizza restaurant donated dinner, and you have a fun and educational time for the community.
The student organization of future art teachers was asked to set up a booth during the STEAM night. Last year we were a novice to the STEAM night adventure, and we had make-it-and-take-it paper masks. We had long lines at our table and major glue issues. This year we followed suit with the other booths and had an experience booth whereby the students and families could interact and enjoy but not make something that needed to dry and be picked up later.
Our idea was a pegboard and colored golf tees poked into the holes to create a pixilated picture. This project reminded me of the old LiteBrite from the 70s and 80s. Since my LiteBrite ‘s lightbulb was always burnt out this pegboard was very similar to my childhood experience.
We used a pegboard we bought at the hardware store ($10) and painted it black with spray paint and 1000 golf tees we got on Amazon ($20) we spray painted various colors. Spray painting the golf tees were the most difficult part of putting this project together. We used empty boxes and sprayed the golf tees in the boxes a little at a time and then shook the box to make sure they were evenly coated. You have to continue to shake the box for an hour so the golf tees will not dry stuck together in a large ball. We tried to line the golf tees up on a piece of styrofoam but the spray paint dissolved the styrofoam. If you have an idea of how to easier paint the golf tees, I would love to hear about your ideas.
The pegboard stood up on the card table and the tees were separated by color in front of the table ready to be arranged into art by the elementary kids.
We had a lot of fun, and I hope you will as well.
I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.