DEL MAR — Everything from a remote control gecko and dog-a-pult to paper furniture and papier-mâché hot air balloons was on display March 11 as Del Mar Hills Academy combined creativity and innovation at the annual Art and Invention Show.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade displayed hundreds of works of art and inventions that highlighted the skills they developed this year.
Many projects featured the STEAM+ philosophy of integrating learning in multiple subject areas. Examples included painted solar systems depicting different moon phases and watercolor erosion handbooks.
Drawings, paintings and three-dimensional sculptures in wood, clay and papier-mâché were creatively displayed.
For example, third-graders made hot air balloons, often seen over Del Mar, which were hung over the fourth-grade California mission projects.
Samantha Granado said the most difficult part of the balloon project was wrapping the material used to make the basket without any overlap.
“Covering the balloon with glue and newspaper was the fun part,” she said.
First-grader Audrey Fieberg said drawing the American flag for her artwork was the most challenging but painting the finished project red, white and blue was easy and fun.
In the past student inventions were showcased during a separate show but this year they were added to the art exhibition.
The projects highlight problem-solving skills students used to create solutions to everything from the collection of rainwater to the prevention of malware transmission when using a flash drive on a computer.
Audrey decided to create removable chair arms to solve a problem that was close to home.
“My sister fell off a chair and broke her collarbone,” she wrote on her display, which featured her sister’s X-ray. “I created removable chair arms to prevent kids from falling off chairs.”
Fifth-grader Tristan Searcy created a triple toothbrush to speed up the daily tooth-cleaning process.
He said his invention will likely help his brother, who often takes a long time to brush his teeth.
Eli Sanchez said he combined his love of math, creating things and basketball to invent a spherical stadium that includes gondolas to provide easy access for the disabled.
“I’ve always wanted to design a stadium,” the sixth-grader said. “I decided to make mine more efficient than the average stadium.”
He said it took him about 20 hours to calculate the dimensions for his mock facility, which features a canvas roof.
When Portia Perry takes her Chihuahua for walks, she noticed how hard it was to get Carlos water so she invented the doggie water collar that features a bowl attached to a harness.
Her biggest challenge, she said, was making the contraption sturdy enough.
One of the most popular inventions was the interactive food crane built by kindergartener Pete McNamara for those who “don’t want to get up and get the food.”
The Art and Invention Show provides families and the community an opportunity to experience the integrated learning offered at Del Mar Hills.