A trip to Dia:Beacon for Canstruction inspiration

The wonderful Canstruction® JR project began in earnest the end of November. Every grade 6 student has a role in this endeavor that combines engineering, art, community outreach, social justice and a dose of mild competition. This year’s structure is still under wraps– unless you know a friendly 6th grader who’ll let you in on the secret.

In its third year, the teachers have honed a curriculum that makes the project multidisciplinary and meaningfully connected to the issue of hunger and our community. One of the first sources of inspiration that they turn to is the modern art museum, Dia:Beacon.

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On their visit, students had a chance to see art created with unconventional materials, since they’ll be doing the same thing with cans. A second feature of the much of the art at Dia:Beacon is that it is large– really large– as will the final can structure that is build at the Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie on January 30.

In the photo, students had finished their docent led tour, and their teachers asked at the admissions desk to have the group let back into the gallery for some closer observation and reflection. “You want to go back in?” they were reportedly asked, with some surprise. Yes, that’s right. Learning is deep and stopping to observe in quiet is a chance many people never take in an art museum. I’m glad our teachers made it possible for these students.

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