Summit 5th graders have been hard at work trying to make public art spaces more accessible to visitors. Through her project based learning initiative, teacher Kelly Makay encourages students to identify a need in the community and work together to execute a solution.
Hundreds of students visit the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in downtown Phoenix each week, but evidence shows that students don’t really understand the meaning behind these public art pieces and historical statues. Summit students brainstormed solutions, completed extensive research on other public art pieces, and concluded that an audio tour would be the best way to engage future plaza visitors.
Summit School students worked with Arizona historian, Michael Cady to produce a guided walking (audio) tour of the plaza via the OtoCast App.
In addition, Summit students will design artistic proposals and create their own public art pieces that would enhance this memorial plaza. The Arizona State Capitol Museum plans to put up signage about the audio tour in the rotunda of the main building to encourage visitors to listen and learn.
They gave a collective presentation and showed evidence of their learning at a culminating event in Historic Supreme Court/AZ State Capitol Building last week. They shared more about the monuments they each studied, their learnings, and the experience of working with a historian. Following the presentation, students invited attendees to walk the plaza with their guided audio tour.
Through public presentations, students demonstrated their critical thinking about this real-world problem and shared how they helped rejuvenate the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza for a new generation of students.
The audio tour is currently live on the free OtoCast App called “Wesley Bolin Memorial Tour.” We’re so proud of all their hard work.