Learning in Action: Nature as Art Inspired by Environmental Artist, Andy Goldsworthy

SMA Prep artists tried their hand at creating outdoor sculptures inspired by the work of environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy. SMA-CPT Pam Kok developed this unit in her Visual Arts classes to support the campus-wide initiative Project Earth. Exposure to making deeper connections to nature fits in perfectly with the overall goal of building compassionate and caring environmentally conscious individuals.

The budding environmental artists enjoyed the process of using patterns, textures, and natural materials to create art. Cadets offered some insights into their experience:

  • “It was fun to keep adding to other materials as we got more ideas.” I enjoyed that everyone made something different.
  • “It was fun, and we used teamwork. We had so many ideas once we joined our ideas together.”
  • “We used creative thinking. I liked the different colored rocks and leaves.”
  • “I liked that we were building outside. We used logical thinking to come up with a plan and then added on to it.”

The classes hope to place installations around campus to share their ideas and the importance of everyone recognizing a connection to the nature around them.

About Andy Goldsworthy

“Using the temporal materials as the reflection of the world we live in, Andy Goldsworthy collaborates with nature creating ephemeral works which remain immortalized only on photographs. Traveling around the world in a quest for perfect environment, he strives to understand nature by his direct participation, enjoying the freedom provided by the possibility to create something just using his hands and material that is within reach. His outdoor sculptures of snow, ice, leaves, rock, clay, feather and twigs represent the idea of change, movement, growth, and decay that is the vitality of nature, the driving energy that he tries to elicit through his pieces. Using the earth as a source, he makes art sensitive to every process that happens around us. Nature and land are in a state of change which itself is the key to understanding.” (www.widewalls.ch)

Cadets used Andy Goldsworthy’s outdoor sculptures as inspiration for their own creations

About Sarasota Military Academy Prep

Sarasota Military Academy Prep is a public charter, middle school and authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, providing students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at www.sarasotamilitaryacademy.org

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers visit Project Earth


Learning in Action: Creating Stop-Motion Claymation Using the IB Design Cycle

design cycle

In Design Technology III cadets are learning how to create claymation film in the logical workflow of the I.B. Design Cycle in order to complete assigned tasks and projects. For the Stop-Motion Claymation short films, cadets collaborate in small groups to establish a 2-4 minute movie theme, develop characters, write the script, design and build the set, create their modeling clay characters and use an iPad and the “Stop Motion” app to film their movie.

At the end of the project and as part of their summative feedback, each group will present their films at the “SMA Prep Peer Film Festival,” where they will receive thoughtful feedback from their peers in areas such as film concept, script, set design, and overall presentation. SMA-MAJ Billy Hodges along with his creative cadets are looking forward to presenting their work.

Stop Motion Claymation

SMA-MAJ Hodges is supporting 30 teams who have written movies (3-5 minute script), built sets, and fashioned their characters out of modeling clay.  They are ‘rehearsing’ their claymation techniques. Once the animators are finished filming…they will go into post-production for editing, sound/music as they finalize their 3-5 minute movie. Can’t wait to see their finished products!