March was our busiest month of programming this year — and we were grateful to spend two of those weeks at Farmington Bay to present our latest Mission STEMCAP: Overconsumption.
We were able to work with a whole host of great guest speakers!
After spending time exploring what Overconsumption of Resources means and how it looks in everyday life, the students watched the David Attenborough Film A Life on Our Planet —looking at the trajectory of environmental degradation over the course of Attenborough’s life, the progress made in recent years, and the call to action for future generations.
Students were then joined by Katie Seastrand at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts for a virtual tour of the museum. Students were shown works ranging from a classic Dutch painting commenting on early consumerism to contemporary pieces composed of tire material and computer parts.
Josh Graham of the University of Utah Art Department visited the students to create artwork with the concept of “reuse” in mind – making the point that creativity and art don’t have to be born only from new materials! The students wrote poems to describe their perception of themselves and then used Josh’s collection of nature magazine scans to create “chimeras” or hybridized creatures, using different animals to portray the many facets of themselves.
We then did a writing workshop with the students, giving them more of a chance to redirect the poem format toward the subject of overconsumption.
New to STEMCAP this semester, we invited two Community Engaged Learning (CEL) undergraduate students from the U of U – Jack and Britta – to present to STEMCAP students on the subject of Environmental Justice. They discussed the effects of environmental issues on urban areas and how problems like pollution are perpetuated and concentrated.
We finished the series with special treats – requested by the students – and a showcase of all the artwork and poems, including a final workshop making environmental PSAs!