My name is Deyana Matt and I am an Art Teacher at Westfield Middle School in Bloomingdale, Illinois. I cannot recall where I first stumbled upon Gary Hirsch's Bots, but I do know that the minute I did, I began searching for how I could bring this same concept to my students as I love to share current art trends with our active and artistic youth to show them that they too can do something awesome that makes an artistic, as well as inspiring, impact on the world!
I was fortunate enough to come upon Gary's own YouTube video where he encourages others to make their own Bots and the rest just easily fell into place, even ordering the same exact Dominoes that Gary uses, which my students love as they always comment on the fact that they are using the same artistic materials as a famous artist! I, as well as my students, love that Gary walks them through the Bot creation steps himself, as it make it feel as if we have our own visiting Artist here teaching us how to create these awesome mini works of art (and joy!)
I introduce the Bot Project to my 6th grade Art students by having them first watch Gary's TEDtalk the night before at home as a teaser for what we are going to be doing the next day in Art class. Then the following day we watch "How to Make Your Own Gary Hirsch Bot" YouTube Video in class and the students immediately begin talking about what type of Bot they want to make. I inform them that they are not only going to make 1, but instead 3 creative Bots; 1 to hide around our own Middle school, 1 to hide at their former Elementary School in our School District (with the help of our Elementary Art teachers), and 1 to take with them and hide anywhere they please outside of school; either within their own home, out in the public, or even as a gift to someone else. Once students have completed their 3 Bots and they are ready to be shared with the world, there is one more step as we have created a sticker that gets placed on the back of each Bot with a QR code that leads the Bot finder to a quick Google Survey for them to comment on where the Bot was found and how to share their photograph of the Bot with both myself and the other students in our School District.
Subsequently, every time a Bot is found with our School District, we are fortunate enough to hear wonderful stories of how it has inspire the finder, and their friends, to celebrate their own creativity and help brighten someone's day with the simple act of leaving a gift for someone else to find unexpectedly! All in all, the students and staff throughout Bloomingdale School District are loving this collaborative Art project and cannot wait for the next round of creative Bots to be hidden!
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