STEAM Riverside

img_0207To kick off the year, the city-wide STEAM coordinator, Sharlene Yang, organized the first STEAM night Riverside, at the MLK School. CCC attended as a partner and offered the ever popular Makey Makey Musical Instruments. This activity pairs learning about sculpture, music, electrical currents and computer programming all in one! A diverse group of learners joined us from pre-K to 8th grade and their parents!


Interview of CCC Director by Cambridge Rindge & Latin students

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.23.08 PMCambridge Rindge & Latin students have an amazing opportunity to take classes and programs at the school’s Media Resource Center. One of the highlights is working out of a real TV studio and interviewing people that do interesting things in Cambridge. Watch their latest Spot On Interview with Kyle Browne, Director of Cambridge Creativity Commons here! 

How to Make Your Mind Move

Cambridge Creativity Commons in partnership with Catalyst Conversations invite you to the 3rd Annual STEAM Conversation April 21st, 3-5pm at Lesley University College of Art and Design.

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Join choreographers/dancers Peter DiMuro and Jody Weber and scientist/dancer Terina-Jasmine Alladin from the Science Club for Girls as they demonstrate how the movement of our bodies can help us understand the world around us. Join us for a dynamic conversation followed by a dance party to express your own creative moves! This event is an El STEAM Collaboration.

Partnerships to Foster Creativity

The most recent report from the field about our work with CPS through the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) Creativity/Innovation Grant. This article, written by CCC’s director, focuses on our role as a cultural partner using arts-based interdisciplinary learning to foster creativity.  Click here to see the full article online at the DESE Contextual Learning Portal


Posted by: Kyle Browne | Cambridge Creativity Commons | Lesley University


Light. Color. Observation. Nature. What are the topics and skills studied in science classes that invite cross-curriculum collaboration with technology and art? How can having an outside cultural partner help to open up these collaborations?

Interactive Ecosystems, a 6th grade project looking at relationships in forest ecosystems, came from such questions. The work began in 2014 with an initial collaboration between an instructional technology specialist, a 6th grade science teacher and myself, a teaching artist and director of the Cambridge Creativity Commons at Lesley University, three passionate educators wanting their students to have an engaging learning experience.  We are in the second year of the Creativity/Innovation Grant, and Interactive Ecosystems is now being implemented across all five 6th grades in the Cambridge Public Schools (CPS).

As the cultural partner, the Cambridge Creativity Commons (CCC) is working with the CPS science department and collaborating closely with individual teachers. CCC’s mission is “to engage Cambridge Public School students and teachers in developing their imagination and creativity across disciplines to enrich aesthetic understanding and activate the joy of learning through innovative arts-based projects.” By working across disciplines and using the arts as a catalyst for learning, students are able to access the content in new ways.

As the sole teaching artist for Interactive Ecosystems, I am responsible for coordinating communication, collaborating with teachers in lesson development, providing training, and assisting with implementation of the arts-related lessons.  As a result of our experience over the first two years, we realized it would be beneficial to separately address the art and technology skills before beginning Interactive Ecosystems.  In this way, we could build sustainability and overcome time constraints, while also increasing the expertise and level of comfort of teachers and students using new art and technology skills. This year, we are conducting several skill-building sessions that not only prepare for Interactive Ecosystems, but also provide creative opportunities for other projects throughout the year.

At this writing we are in the midst of implementing these lessons; I am working across the district to engage teachers and students in observational drawing and watercolor painting as they simultaneously learn about the science concepts of color and light. These lessons are building students’ ability to observe closely as they learn to both trust and question what they see, and as they learn to use new materials to access science and art content in a unique, interdisciplinary way.

As a cultural partner, my role has been to identify and develop areas for cross-curricular collaboration that might not readily be available to teachers. As a trained artist and educator working in a cultural non-profit, I have the ability and time to uncover areas of connections among multiple subjects, and, in collaboration with teachers, develop curriculum that works at the intersections of these varying subjects.  Through engaging, hands-on and integrated projects, students are gaining understanding of art, technology and science concepts.  As a practicing artist I am able to share my expertise and experience, providing a new perspective for students and teachers. This connection to the real world enriches the classroom environment, and I constantly hear from teachers how beneficial and refreshing it is for them as well as their students.

Share your experiences! What are some of the natural connections you see among art, science, technology and other fields? How do you reshape curriculum to allow students, teachers, and partners to explore connections across disciplines?

Attached is a photo from the current project, Light & Color: Through the Eyes of an Artist.

Click here to see the full article online at the DESE Contextual Learning Portal

Presenter at ESE Annual Education Conference

Cambridge Creativity Commons and Cambridge Public Schools STEM department presented our project, Interactive Eco-systems, at the annual State Elementary and Secondary Education conference in Marlborough, MA on Tuesday. This was to specifically highlight the Creativity and Innovation grant award and how we’ve used the new Creativity Rubric to shape and improve our project going into the second year. Thankful for the continuing support and award from DESE and CPS and excited to begin the work this year integrating art, science and technology!


A STEAM Conversation: Learning Through the Lens of Art & Science – April 23rd!

Join us for a dynamic talk between scientists and designers from DeScience followed by a hands-on workshop where you can engage in the overlapping creative processes of both artists and scientists.  The event April 23rd 3 – 4:30 at the new Lunder Arts Center at Lesley University College of Art & Design. CCC partners once again with Catalyst Conversations to organize and host this second annual STEAM education event during Cambridge Science Festival! Event supported by the Expanded Learning STEAM Network.23c972_69b4a283e55a4379965447d158711744.jpg_srz_p_980_702_75_22_0.50_1.20_0

Register Here! Limited Space

CCC & CPS in Hechinger Report on Coding and Creativity

The Hechinger Report, covers inequality and innovation in education with in-depth journalism that uses research, data and stories from classrooms and campuses to show the public how education can be improved and why it matters. Last week based on the recommendation of Ingrid Gustafson, the Cambridge Public School Instructional Technology Specialist in grades 6-12, I was interviewed to discuss ways we had integrated coding and the arts together in a science class. This article highlights some of our discussion as well as other schools ideas and innovative approaches about this topic nation-wide. Click here to read ‘Should every school class be a computer coding class?’ by Chris Berdik.

CCC partnership highlighted in 2014/15 CPSD STEM newsletter!

Read what the Cambridge Public School’s new STEM department has been up to this past year as well as two of the highlighted projects that were done in partnership with CCC!  Vassal Lane, Putnam Avenue and Rindge Avenue participated in innovative and creative ways to incorporate art, technology and science with 6th and 8th grades to learn about plate tectonics, kinetic energy and forces of motion as well as 21st century learning skills that come by collaborating, communicating and taking risks. Continue reading CCC partnership highlighted in 2014/15 CPSD STEM newsletter!

Awarded EL STEAM mini-grants!!

I’m excited to announce Cambridge Creativity Commons (CCC) in partnership with Catalyst Conversations (CC) and the East End House (EEH) has been awarded two Expanded Learning STEAM (ELSTEAM) mini-grants for events and programs aligned with the Cambridge Science Festival! this spring!  Continue reading Awarded EL STEAM mini-grants!!

Kinetic Sculpture with 8th grade artist/scientists!

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We are very excited our project was featured on the Cambridge Public Schools Facebook page! This project was based on using ‘Forces at a Distance’ electricity, electromagnetism, magnetism and gravity to create a kinetic sculpture. Students were given a wide variety of materials and tools to create with, including use of power tools, batteries, decorative materials and their own imagination! Continue reading Kinetic Sculpture with 8th grade artist/scientists!