Bulb Archived: Telpochcalli 2018-2019: Pagan and Estrada (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project?

Telpochcalli is a Mexican Fine Arts Elementary School located in Little Village. The vision of the school is to integrate the arts into its curriculum. Science teacher Liz Pagan and teaching artist William Estrada have collaborated for the past 7 years on muliple projects in both SCALE Afterschool and the A/R Partners program. Liz Pagan was interested in integrating visual arts with Energy, the science content beign taught in the second semester. As Liz Pagan and William Estrada began to meet to codevelop the project and began to discuss the displacement happening in various Chicago neighborhoods, inclusing Little Village, where Telpochcalli is located. We decided to introduce the idea of designing models using existing home layouts present in the neighborhood and looking at energy sutinability in a critical way that honored indeginous farming knowledge and the work already present in the community. Students would learn more about sustainable design practices, applying energy sustanable approaches to existing homes, and would create an opportunity for students to imagine what their future home coud look like taking into consideration their families needs in a space, crating opportunities for growing food, and capturing wind and solar energy along with fresh water for drinking and cooking and grey water systems for fertilizer and non-consumption purposes.

  (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.):

2. Big Idea:Redesigning Chicago: Creating Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes

3. Inquiry:

How can design allow us to reimagine current systems to integrate more renewable resources that make homes sustainable?

Students will use current home designs to create models that integrate energy efficiency and sustainablily into the homes. 

Central inquiry question:

How can renewable energy used in our daily lives be conserved and sustainable in modern development?

How can students apply understanding of energy to create a model of an energy efficient home.

4. Grade Level: 6/7

5. Academic Subject(s): Science

6. Artistic Discipline(s): Visual Art, Urban Planning, and Architectural Design

7. How many years have you worked together as partners?:  Several 5-7 years

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project: 

Through the collective development of ideas, the class redesigned existing homes to research how to efficiently use energy and understand its impact on their neighborhood. Students researched, interpreted and analyzed contemporary artwork used to address issues of energy, ecology, and urban design. Co-teaching strategies included team teaching and teacher/artist led projects along with collaborative (teacher, artist, student) planning and project development. We focused primarily on developing designs to recognize change and reimagine our community in a way that doesn’t displace its current members. Art projects developed with the assistance of the students. We co-developed methods that facilitate learning and understanding of content. Students’ began by looking at homes in Little Village and analysing the layout of their own homes. They redesigned layouts thinking critically about how space is used and what would benefit their family the most. Taking into consideration sustainable energy technology (solar, wind, geothermal, water), students were asked to adapt the technology so their homes would be completely independant of the electrical grid. Students created a floor plan for their ideal home, using existing homes in Little Village. Using cardboard, students made maquettes to that highlighted the criteria we identified. Students were required to apply their understanding of Energy Efficiency by utilizing only natural resources such as Wind, Solar, Water and Geothermal Energy in their model homes and had to make sure their homes did not stand out from other designs in the neighborhood.

Student created a layout of their future home.
After developing their blue prints, students looked at Nicole Marroquin and Paulina Camacho’s collage work with Juares High School students artwork and used it as inspiration to make collages that began to explore what the facades new homes would look like.
Student finalizes their facade and begin to plan where the energy equipmentm (solar, wind, water, geo thermal) will be placed.
Students begin to build their maquette.
Student building the second floor to their maquette.
One of various home maquette built, showing geothermal lining for the floors and solar panels.

9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or community?

Teacher Assessment:

Stu. had a formative assessment prior to completing their model homes explaining how their model homes were energy efficient. As a summative assessment Stu. had a reflective questionaire about the process of the project and their thoughts for improvement.

We engaged in various conversations and critiques highlighting the process and the importance of developing ideas as artists that challenge the way our neighborhoods are seen and represented.


Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, SEL, Etc.): 

PS3.A: Definitions of Energy The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses. (4-PS3-1)

Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents. (4-PS3-2),(4-PS3-3)

PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat. When objects collide, energy can be transferred from one object to another, thereby changing their motion. In such collisions, some energy is typically also transferred to the surrounding air; as a result, the air gets heated and sound is produced. (4-PS3-2),(4-PS3-3)

Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electric currents, which can then be used locally to produce motion, sound, heat, or light. The currents may have been produced to begin with by transforming the energy of motion into electrical energy. (4-PS3-2),(4-PS3-4)

PS3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces

PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life The expression “produce energy” typically refers to the conversion of stored energy into a desired form for practical use. (4-PS3-4)

ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems

Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria).