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Art is Everywhere

The week before winter break art teacher Lucy Nelson teamed up with math teacher Kenny Kozens for a week-long immersion class. In Algebra, 8th- and 9th-grade students created scale factor drawings of ordinary household objects in colored pencil. “A scale factor is a ratio between corresponding measurements of an object and a representation of that object. When the scale factor is less than 1, the representation is smaller than the object. When it is greater than 1, the representation is an enlargement,” explained Nelson. “Real-life examples of scale factoring include architectural blueprints (1/48 or ¼ inch drawing is 1 foot of building) and many children’s toys like dollhouses (1/12) and model cars (1/24).”

Students took detailed measurements of their object, such as a tube of paint, a cellophane tape dispenser, or a bottle of hot sauce, and multiplied these measurements by their chosen scale factor (usually by a factor of 2, 3, or 4). The assignment looked easy but was deceptively complex. It demanded precision in enlarging an object and then transferring the measurements onto paper. 

“The kids had an epiphany while doing this work,” said Nelson. “The day-to-day objects we all use including the clothes we wear and even the building we are in resulted from this technique–this is a real-world skill.” She ended the class with this thought, “If you take a moment to consider it, almost everything in our world is designed by an artist.”

Student work is currently hanging on the wall in the admission wing.
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