The Incredible Human Body
Supernovas (3rd - 5th grades)
- The Incredible
- Galileo Innovation
The Incredible Human Body
The Art & Science of Being Human
This week in science, Supernovas will investigate the mechanics of the human hand, then build their own prosthetic version. They’ll design working appendages, ligaments and tendons, plus a system of straps to attach it. Campers will test and redesign their new limb to fit comfortably, grip strongly and perform a range of everyday tasks.
In Art, campers will focus on the human sense of sight and create art that is visually captivating. They’ll get inspired by Louise Nevelson, a master of abstract collage, and learn the three basic components of visual composition: visual interest, visual path, and visual rest. Then, campers will practice being reflective to arrange a composition of their own.
In Science, campers will learn about the anatomy of their own fingers and use this as inspiration to create two different appendages. Using craft sticks and cardboard for bone, and plastic for articular ligaments, they’ll create several appendages that can be snapped back into a straight position. Being visionary will be especially helpful today, as campers will need to use limited materials in imaginative ways.
Ask your camper: As you created your visual composition, did you arrange things randomly or in the most eye-catching way possible? How did being reflective make your composition better?
In Art, campers will be courageous as they embrace the challenge of trying to recreate their compositions from yesterday using only the sense of touch. Working in pairs, they’ll swap roles building their composition blindfolded and supporting their partner.
In Science, campers will create the tendons and annular ligaments—using string and tubing—that will allow their appendages to grasp and lift a weighted cup. Carefully reflecting on each component in action will help them figure out how to create the smoothest action and the most reliable appendages.
Ask your camper: What materials are you using in your prosthetic hand to simulate the bones, ligaments and tendons?
In Art, campers will explore how painting their compositions a single color can affect how they’re perceived. Campers will be determined to paint both of their compositions a single color to unify all of the components into one cohesive work of art—just like Louise Nevelson.
In Science, campers will learn how the relative position, number and orientation of appendages affects how they function as a unit (a hand). Figuring out how to orient the appendages and attach each piece together using hot glue will be the most challenging part of this project, so having the determination to persevere will be especially important today.
In Outdoors, campers will link together like liver cells, working with their teammates to clean up all the blood toxins they can carry in the game Liver Link Up.
Ask your camper: How many times did you need to redesign your appendages to get them working just right?
In Art, campers will prepare their unsighted composition for sharing. They’ll work in pairs to come up with titles for their pieces, then use a guide to write their titles in braille. Campers will use wikki sticks on transparency sheets to create raised braille letters they can attach to the outside of their composition, along with an artist statement.
In Science, campers will get ready to make their prosthesis wearable, comfortable and more functional. They’ll add straps and padding, then test for security and comfort. Campers will also enhance their prosthesis’ grip with materials to improve its ability to complete four tasks, and reflect on how the additions are or aren’t working after each test.
Ask your camper: What was the title and artist statement you came up with for your composition today?
In Art, campers will use their sighted compositions to build a large-scale installation and explore how experimenting with the scale of an art piece in relation to the human body can produce new, interesting experiences. They’ll collaborate to create white installation walls with hexacomb cardboard, edge protectors and butcher paper, then work together to arrange their pieces on the wall to create one large, visually pleasing composition.
In Science, campers will continue practicing determination to continue redesigning and improving their prosthetic hand as much as possible. They may choose to get caught up on previous design goals or step up the aesthetic appearance of their prosthetic with colors and patterns that fit their style.
In Outdoors, campers will find themselves in full-body laughs as they make up moves to get their opponents giggling in a Galileo-style dance battle.
Ask your camper: How did being collaborative make your large-scale sculpture better? What was your favorite part of a project this week?
Activities and outings to build on this week's adventures
Create a life-sized body map at home, using found objects like tissue paper, bubble wrap and q-tips to represent the various elements of the human anatomy.
Catch a local dance performance, or be courageous as you try your hand at a new sport or style of dance.
SF Bay Area:
Explore biology, anatomy and health at The Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose. Be sure to visit the Body Worlds Decoded exhibit, which mixes anatomy with augmented reality.
Take in a show by AXIS Dance Company, one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities.
Galileo Innovation Approach
The Galileo Innovation Approach® (GIA) is our guiding principle. The GIA is at the core of every activity your kids do at camp, from Pre-K all the way to 8th grade. Having a Galileo Innovator’s Mindset, Process and Knowledge makes a lasting impact on the way children think, explore and create.
1. The Innovator's mindset: How Galileo innovators approach the world
I am Visionary
I am Courageous
I am Collaborative
I am Determined
I am Reflective
2. The Innovator’s Knowledge: What Galileo innovators need to understand
Concepts and Facts
Skills and Techniques
Audience and Environment
3. The Innovator’s Process: How Galileo innovators innovate