Eco-System STEAM learning – CPS article!

Check out the article on the Rindge Avenue Upper School website!!!


As part of 6th grade life science and ecology/ecosystems studies, Cambridge Public Schools uses a computerbased virtual environment developed by Harvard called EcoMUVE
( Students are presented with a scenario related to a forest ecosystem and utilize the virtual environment in EcoMUVE to come to a solution. From the EcoMUVE website, “students work in teams to visit the two islands over a span of fifty years to see how the populations and forest structure change on each island over time.” This year, 6th grade science teacher Dave Suchy and his students at RAUC expanded upon the EcoMUVE curriculum by collaborating with Ingrid Gustafson, CPS Instructional Technology Specialist and Kyle Browne, director of Cambridge Creativity Commons ( As a final project articulating a hypothesis and solution to a problem, students created mixed media scientific illustrations depicting the EcoMUVE web of organism interactions. Their paper based ecosystem webs were made into computer based interactive simulations by connecting MaKeyMaKey kits ( and were controlled by programming with Scratch ( Students gained practice in 21st century skills such as collaborating and creativity throughout the duration of this project by engaging in STEAM education Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.  Continue reading Eco-System STEAM learning – CPS article!

Central Elements – Cambridge Science Festival! Photomontage on Mass Ave

photo 1 photo 2East End House and Cambridge Creativity Commons have teamed up to provide their combined expertise in STEAM education (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math).  Focusing on the compound NaCl (table salt), 6th-8th graders learned about the period table and basic compounds… especially reactions!  As a culmination of their learning, the students dyed their own NaCl and took pictures of the arrangements and art pieces they made.  Continue reading Central Elements – Cambridge Science Festival! Photomontage on Mass Ave

Intergenerational Art Exhibit at Lesley University

PaintingitForwardFINALwebFeaturing Doffie Arnold, the inspiration behind Cambridge Creativity Commons, Kyle Browne CCC Director & Teaching Artist and the students whose learning has been enriched by CCC!



Doffie’s Studio and CCC journal exhibit in Cambridge Chronicle

The Cambridge Chronicle highlighted Dorothy ‘Doffie’ Arnolds studio event, honoring her legacy as an artist. Doffie and her studio were the catalyst to launch the Cambridge Creativity Commons, it was a joy for us to be a part of this event as well as have the Putnam Avenue Uppers School Creative Journaling Project exhibit we are doing with the Cambridge Public Library mentioned in the article. To see the full article go here!

Putnam Avenue Creative Journaling Project on view NOW!

image[1] Putnam Avenue Upper School Creative Journaling Project: In collaboration with Dorothy Arnold is on exhibit now at the Cambridge Main Library!

Opening Reception
Wednesday December 4th, 5-7pm
449 Broadway in the Beech Room
Light refreshments & Student and Teacher comments at 6pm

In the 2012-13 school year 6th grade students at PAUS partnered with the Cambridge Creativity Commons to construct their own hand-bound journals inspired by Dorothy Arnold’s legacy of art journals. These journals are filled with pages that creatively express students’ knowledge across disciplines through image and text. A selection of Dorothy’s journals presented alongside the student journals will be exhibited at the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library November 23 – Jan 31.


Moon Phase Stop-Motion Animation, 6th grade science

MoonAnimationFeaturedimage In September the Putnam Avenue Upper School 6th grade science class put on their hats as scientists and animators to learn the moon phases!

The learning goals were to demonstrate the sequencing of 8 different moon phases and the moons relationship to the earth in each phase through stop-motion animation.

Collaborating with the Ms. Tolles, the science teacher and Ms. G, the technology specialist we developed a lesson that combined rigorous hands-on learning and exploring new skills in media arts.

Students began with a storyboard to show correct order, labeling and moon to earth relationship. They directly used this storyboard as reference to take photographs of moon models in the different phases. Teams of two students, one acting as director of photography, one as the ‘prop’ manager used a professional camera set-up to document each phase. They then transferred their images to the computer and scaled, edited and animated them with timings in iMovie. Some students even added sound effects, titles and extra graphics. I was very excited at the outcomes and the dedicated collaboration of the other two teachers to make this a success. Moon Phase 5

The students participated enthusiastically and even the 7th graders poked their heads in saying, “Hey! We never got to do this last year!”.

Ms. Tolles, the 6th grade science teacher comments, “I am just amazed at the synthesis of knowledge that went on to integrate both perspectives of the sun, moon, and Earth.  Kids really enjoyed the project, and they showed incredible mastery of the content in a very short time period.  In short, I am super excited for our next stop motion project!”

See more photos on our project gallery page,

Summer at CCC is quite an Adventure!

This summer CCC has partnered with four different youth centers in Cambridge to do a week-long residency with the theme of Eco-Art Adventure at each.

Eco-Art Adventures is a program that revolves around art and the environment, crossing the disciplines of ecology and art that provides outdoor and artistic exploration.  The format consists of the students engaging in outdoor explorations such as a nature walks, public street art tours, kayaking and swimming and then creating art, during, and in response to their experience. This encourages observation, critical thinking, learning about various environments and personal expression.  Some examples of art activities include field sketching, nature assemblage, sun-prints, photography and environmentally conscious activism art. Students will exhibit work at the end of the week to share with peers and staff.

The kayaking & environmental art field trip at Discovery Adventures in Gloucester, MA has definitely been a favorite!

About 1/2 way through here are a few photos with some of the highlights!


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Cambridge River Festival!

This year CCC made its debut appearance at the 34th annual Cambridge River Festival organized by the Cambridge Arts Council (CAC). It was a day filled with interactive art-making, river serpents and quite a bit of wind to cool us off – but also make papers fly! Thanks to my hardy volunteers we secured and exhibited student work, Doffie Arnolds abstract and figurative paintings and set up a great space for children and families to come make art. Our activities included making paper river serpents using paper bags and streamers and participating in a collaborative painting of a large river serpent. The painted serpent is living at the CCC studio – but hoping to hang it in a more public venue soon! The River Festival was a great way to showcase the work of Cambridge students and highlight our strong Cambridge partnerships which include the CAC, Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Public Schools, Lesley University and the Art Institute of Boston.

The quote of the day (or even month!) was by Torren, 7yrs, “When I’m painting, nothing feels impossible” – absolutely priceless!