Irma Rangel

Side Chops Featuring CRD | ARO Camp at Irma Rangel

Side Chops gives a closer look into the three day STEAM based camp Carlyn Ray Designs and Art Reaching Out offered the students at Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School.

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ARO worked with Young Women's Preparatory Network to offer Irma Lerma Rangel's (DISD) rising 7th grade students a hands-on STEAM learning camp around glass. The camp was designed to have the girls create an art installation and see the steps from start to finish, all involving STEAM elements: science, technology, engineering, art, and math. ​

With JC and Rob, the girls learned about welding, shop safety and proper techniques to be used around the MIG welder.  The girls measured spacers needed to support a plaque, converting fractions to decimals.  They tack welded the mounting hardware and spacers used in their final product.  It was quite the spark and experience!


The fusing station really brought nature and science together for the students. Girls gathered organic plant matter to be sandwiched between two pieces of plate glass. These were then fused together in the kiln to make one of a kind coasters for each of the girls to keep!  Susan explained properties of laminated glass, tempered glass, and bulletproof glass.


Clay and Simon split instruction for the glass station. With Simon, the girls used hand tools to sculpt the glass into beautiful flowers. Clay performed the Prince Rupert's Drop and the students learned about the marvel of residual stress. Clay then helped each group make a blown glass bubble using the element they had selected.

Flame Test

With Carlyn, the students performed flame tests for several elements and observed the different colored flames created. Girls then learned about why different colored metallic salts create different colored flames when ignited and how each flame color is specific to the element used, much like a fingerprint for the element!

The students got crafty at the wood burning station with Genna. She helped them use their research about their elements to mock up their plaque, then took them outside to take turns burning their element's information into the plaque.

The students learned about energy and circuits with Kate. Using tennis balls, the students physically illustrated the passing of energy from a power source to a "light bulb." The students then took what they learned and put it into action by working as a team. They read schematics and used the pieces in a snap circuit board kit to create their own custom circuit resulting in light, sound, or even the crowd pleasing flying saucer.

Here, the students learned about all the different types of light waves in the light spectrum with Michelle. They explored the different colors in the visible light spectrum and performed experiments to find a better understanding of light refraction and how it can be seen in our everyday life.

Kyle showed students an array of experiments highlighting how heat affects different states of matter. The final experiment demonstrated convection. Kyle then explained that convection is the same process we use in the studio to heat the 500 pounds of glass in our furnace!

Once the students completed their research, the groups compiled their information into a short presentation, and presented it to everyone orally.

Assembly and Installation

With instruction from Carlyn and Kyle, the students assembled their plaques and attached them to the board using both power and hand tools. Once the plaques had been secured we installed it together!

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