Circus theme lights the way
Upper Hutt Primary School students are bringing all the fun of the circus to a special art project.
Over six Friday mornings at their school, the 15 students are building and programming a circus-themed installation. Their collective work is part of the LUX Kids Project, a pilot programme aimed at encouraging children to use technology in new and creative ways.
"This year the LUX Festival has five theme precincts with different art in each," co-ordinator and media arts educator Jess Weichler said.
"Upper Hutt was given the circus theme which is my personal favourite because who doesn't love the circus?
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"We had a brain-storming session around that and came up with three words that everyone seemed to jump to whenever we said circus and those were lions, clowns and juggling," Weichler said.
"So we are creating a lion who is a clown and who is juggling."
While the prototype lion will be made from recycled materials the project also involves computer coding with the children learning about electronics, light elements and problem solving.
Over the remaining weeks the children will continue crafting their sculpture using shopping bags, chicken wire, cassette tapes plastics and coding the lighting.
"We'll end up with five metes of lights on the sculpture," Weichler said.
"For today's school kids learning to code is what learning to use a pen used to be. We only have two main rules for this project - make mistakes, and measure twice, cut once .
"Gone are the days where technical maths skills and artistic projects are taught separately."
The May 12-21 LUX Light Festival will transform Wellington's waterfront, laneways and public spaces into themed precincts offering inviting experiences to festival goers.
The Upper Hutt students' work will be installed in a yet-to-be-determined city location during the 10-day festival.
Four other schools in the Wellington region, including Taita, are also taking part in the LUX Kids Project .