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Unfamiliar Landscapes: The Project

School: High Tech High

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 12

Format(s): Visual & Narrative Arts

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

Twelfth grade students at High Tech High in San Diego, California used the key concept of “unfamiliar landscapes” to study how we create or alter landscapes, and how, in turn, landscapes alter us as individuals and community members. Projects addressed issues such as police brutality, drones, noise pollution, humanitarian aid and US politics, DNA, and the punk rock movement.

The semester long project was a collaboration between a Digital Art class and English class. Students functioned as researchers, computer programmers and presenting artists to create a body of writing and a final code-based media project using the programming language, Processing.

Students were also supported in learning coding through the Practicum
Program offered by UCSD’s Sixth College. Through the guidance of Professor
Brett Stalbaum of the Department of Visual Arts and Associate Director for
the Practicum, Diane A. Forbes Berthoud, students embarked on a
ten-week creative mentorship program whereby UCSD students mentored and
supported them to develop their final projects.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Illustrates how new technologies can be used to illuminate difficult concepts
  • Strong integration of technology combined with subject matter
  • Demonstrates an outstanding level of sophistication for high school students
  • A final project that represents students’ work on multiple levels: researching topics, learning computer coding, and creating artwork to represent their topics

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information in a variety of formats and media to address a question or solve a problem.
  • I can corroborate or challenge conclusions with other sources of information.
  • I can resolve conflicting information when possible.
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