Colonial Middle School (CMS) teamed with St. Christopher's Hospital's Child Life department three years ago to help their young patients move around the hospital easier. In that time, more than 480 Colonial Middle School Technology Education and Art students worked together to create 180+ "lily pads".
"Kids at St. Christopher's, they have to carry around an IV pole with them. So we're making lily pads that go on top of the IV pole where they can just sit or stand and be rolled with it," said Lilli Kasmen when she was in eighth grade and working on the project in 2017. "And they have designs on them, so it's a little fun way for them to have options in the hospital, because the patients don't really have a lot of choices."
In their Technology Ed elective, middle schoolers designed the lily pads using 3D Modeling software. In the art room, students employed the Four Cs — communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity — to brainstorm designs that were colorful and fun and then transferred those designs to the boards using acrylic paint. The images on the lily pads include sports, animals, cartoon characters, superheroes and more.
"I'm seeing them make art that has a purpose," said Julie Horwitz, a CMS art teacher. "I'm seeing them excited to make something that they know is going somewhere, and it's doing something. That's very exciting to me."
The collaboration between Mrs. Horwitz and Technology Education Teacher Jeff Yeagle demonstrates the STEAM culture in the Colonial School District through integrated lessons that have real world connections.
Through the lily pad project, the CMS students were continuing the work of Nick Konkler, a high school student in Washington state, who spent his short life in and out of children's hospitals as he battled cancer. He saw a little girl struggling with her IV pole one day and vowed to make enough lily pads for everyone at the Seattle area hospital. When he passed away, the students in his shop class took over the project, and now the students at CMS have brought that to St. Christopher's.