The wall needed to “pop.” Pretty much instantly.
The Challenger STEM Learning Center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wanted to give visitors an instantaneous lesson on what the center is all about, a blend of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, or “STEAM.” Students from the graphic design program in the UTC Department of Art were asked to make that happen.
The team of students, which included Haison Hopkins, Callie High, Sadie Montague, Tyler Humphries, and Cooper Haston, designed and illustrated an entire 30-foot section of brightly colored visual aids—planets, cameras, musical instruments, DNA helixes and other artwork—interspersed with the words of “STEAM” and others such as “build,” “create,” “imagine” and “explore.” In the middle of the wall, the word “STEAM” was written in large, multicolored letters outlined with laser-cut wood pieces painted black.
Now the wall “pops.”
Hopkins said the project has helped refine many of the skills needed for her career.
“I learned how to efficiently and effectively talk to a client and work as a team,” she said. “It helped me in graphic design by developing my problem solving and creative skills when I’m given a set of boundaries to work in.”
Derek Witucki, the lecturer in graphic design who worked with Hopkins and High on the project, said he has multiple goals for students when they take on assignments.
“From projects like this, I want my students to learn about the underlying work that makes a collaboration successful,” he said. “I want them to know that they can realize a vision—to have that creative confidence—and to know something of the steps they need to take and hurdles they need to overcome.
“Most of all, I hope they got some pride because they are putting a lasting mark on the campus which is something truly special.”