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The birth of a robot.

Would you believe a group of third graders created a terrific robot during one forty-five-minute art class? Scrounging for Styrofoam packing materials was part of the motivation process, along with seeing slides of robot toys and creations of the silver sculptor, Earl Krentzin. Playing with the robot toys helped encourage students to find more Styrofoam. Seeing the different kinds of movement (wind-up, friction, push-type) of the robots made the project more exciting. Finally, we had enough Styrofoam.

Talking over the possibilities made one child jump up and begin to walk like a robot. That display was all that was needed for the students to begin fitting arms and legs to the huge piece designated as the body. Finding a piece of Styrofoam for the head, completed the hero's form.

Five long nails and white glue were used for the construction. While the robot dried, paper and pipe cleaners were cut and shaped, ready to attach. Within a few minutes, glue and straight pins were the bonding agents for the features, details, controls and voice boxes. The problem of how to make the robot stand was solved by nailing and gluing the feet to a large Styrofoam base.

The students enjoyed the process and the product. They proudly displayed the robot outside the artroom. Light in weight, the robot can be easily moved from the artroom to the hallway or school office. The kinder-garten class enjoyed a visit from this marvelous creature and its creators.

The robot sculpture has been the subject of stories and poetry. When there has been an important event to be publicized, the robot has held a poster in its hand. A real member of our school family, the robot has earned its floor space.

The recycling of materials in the artroom is a commendable activity for future responsible citizens and protectors of our environment. It encourages the multiple use of materials prior to their being sent to a recycling station. It also challenges the creativity of our students and expands their interest in found-object sculpture. The works of Louise Nevelson and Joseph Cornell concretely relate to additive sculpture, recycling and the intrinsic value of everyday objects.

Creative processes arc enhanced and challenged in a cooperative learning situation. Each child is encouraged to add something special to the group. Fun for all--including the teacher.

Lorraine Krentzin teaches art at Kerby School and Richard School in the Grosse Pointe, Michigan Public School System.
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Title Annotation:third graders create styrofoam robots with help of silver sculptor Earl Krentzin
Author:Krentzin, Lorraine
Publication:School Arts
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Words:405
Previous Article:Nail figure.
Next Article:Paper relief sculpture.
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