North Carolina

The Art of Erosion

by Pam Adams’s 7th grade LA class
North Duplin Jr/Sr High School
Faison, NC, United States

A collaborative STEM project (Language Arts, Art, Science, Math, & Social Studies)Driving Questions:

  • How have advances in biotechnology and agri-science affected society?
  • How can we solve the flooding problem in front of the art room in an artistic, environmentally friendly way?

“Press Release!”

To answer the questions, the 7th grade class of North Duplin Jr./Sr. High School was challenged to stop flooding in a certain area. We had to solve the problem using a form of art called Earth Art. We were allotted 3 weeks at 45 minutes each day to solve the problem. A grant of $1000 was given to our class to fund the art project.Before doing anything else, we measured the problem area. The next steps were finding out what materials we could use and making blue prints of the area’s design. We came up with several ideas but ended up combining our two favorites into one plan due to the limited amount of supplies. Lastly, the supplies were ordered, and we waited for them to arrive.

Working the Problem

When we got the supplies we went straight to work

  1. carrying buckets of sand to the area
  2. layering 1 ton of sand and spreading it using yard sticks
  3. spreading 1 ton of pea gravel over the sand
  4. marking the area where the .25 ton of lava rock would go
  5. laying the rock in that marked area
  6. layering on top some stepping stones painted by the high-schoolers
  7. decorating with a sculpture of birds we created
  8. putting out a few bird houses
  9. calculating the area’s volume as 105,471.58 cubic inches

No More Flooding

In conclusion, we have created a masterpiece that solved the flooding outside the art room. With dedication, the problem came to a solution, because we greatly reduced the amount of standing water. The water level decreased from 6 inches to 2 inches.After all the hard work, we hope our project is enjoyed by our fellow students at North Duplin Jr./Sr. High School.

Have a change to suggest for this story? We’d love for you to submit it!

Math Questions

  1. How was the math volume area computation derived?
  2. How many tons of materials were used in total?
  3. How much time was spent on this project in total?
  4. Look up average prices for sand, pea gravel, and lava rock. Compute how much was spent to buy these materials.
  5. How many square feet was the area? How many square yards?
  6. Imagine the area was 200,000 square inches. How much would the project cost if the original project costs $1,000?

Common Core Connections

  1. Restate the style of art that was used in the project?
    Answer: Earth Art
  2. How is STEM connected to the rock garden?
    Answer: The rock garden fixed the problem of erosion and flooding. We used technology with different kinds of tools; making the designs was also engineering. We measured the designated area to find out how much rock was needed.

Write your own math question and submit it here

Extension Questions

People experience flooding problems all over the world, especially those who live near the sea. Look at some of the ways people manage and make a decision if those are good coastal management methods.

Write your own extension question and submit it here


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