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Project Design Lab culminating event at the Newbury School - Evie Lovett, Teaching Artist

Creativity at the Center of Learning

These projects were designed by school educators and teaching artists at the Project Design Lab.

LEARN MORE about the Project Design Lab and how you can collaborate with a teaching artist to implement a creative project to your school.

How can we support the well-being of our community?


School Team: Fifth Grade

Teaching artist: Evie Lovett, photographer/cyanotypes


Students in all grades learned group collaboration skills, how to respect the ideas of others, and how to advocate for what you believe in, through making cyanotypes that explored and celebrated their connections to their Forest School. 

Where does “Me” end and “We” begin?


School Team: Flexible Pathways Coordinator, Global Citizenship, Arts, Elementary Education

Teaching artist: Barbara Paulson, puppeteer/theater


K-12 students strengthened their sense of community with an all-school original puppet show that built connections between the elementary, middle and high school and their community.

How can we see the invisible presence of hunger & income Inequality in our community?


School Team: Science, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies

Teaching Artists: Gowri Savoor, visual art; Evan Premo, music composition


Science and humanities teachers collaborated to explore the invisible presence of hunger and income inequality in Montpelier. The month-long project led students to reflect deeply on their learning, and incorporate their knowledge into the creation of stage sets and an original musical composition for orchestra and chorus.


How does communication shape us?


School Team: Kindergarten, First & Second Grade, Librarian, Arts Coach

Teaching Artist: Ashely Hensel-Browning, dance


Students explored how communicating effectively and engaging multiple perspectives could create meaningful change in themselves and their communities. One of their culminating event activities was a flash mob on Church Street in Burlington.

How do walls live in my life?


School Team: Science, English, Social Studies, Orchestra

Teaching Artists: Gowri Savoor, visual art; Evan Premo, music composition

High school students explored the role of walls in their lives and throughout the world—both real and imagined. This project culminated at the Barre Opera House where the students displayed their dynamic wall of glowing cubes with original music featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie, composed and performed by MHS students.

What makes my community sustainable and what is my role?
School Team: Councilor, English, Art

Teaching Artist: Trisha Denton, theater 


Tenth graders interviewed and photographed community members, asking what they felt made their community sustainable, then made pop art portraits of the community members that were hung on lamp posts around town. The culminating event was a series of theatrical vignettes that captured the essence of the interviews and the students’ answers to the essential question. Vermont Public Radio story


How do we respond to what the Earth is saying?


School Team: English/Language Arts, English/AP, Social Studies, Art

Teaching Artist: Evie Lovett, photography


12th grade Social Studies students created vivid digital posters from photographs and interviews with five local climate activists, designed to build awareness of their climate activism goals. 9th graders explored the impact of climate change on the local agricultural community, visiting farms, interviewing and photographing local farmers, photographing local farm landscapes, and creating posters incorporating quotes from their original poetry and interviews with the farmers.

How can we bring the outdoors in and the indoors out?


School Team: Grade 1/2 Math, Grade 1/2 Science, Grade1/2, Art

Teaching artist: Barbara Paulson, puppeteer/theater

Students created outdoor self-portrait planks and an original puppet show to generate interest in the community for a new outdoor classroom, which resulted in a large gazebo and outdoor learning spaces being created.

What do you do when you don’t know?


Educator Team: Language Arts/Social Studies, Grade 6, Music

Teaching Artist: Lindsay Pontius, theater 

Sixth graders were introduced to the story of Shakespeare's Henry IV through physical embodiment of the characters and situation, map-making and crest-making. The emphasis was on experimentation, risk-taking and collaboration to create and personalize meaning. They were th
en cast in two acts of the play and participated with over 100 students in a festival of Shakespeare with three other Addison County Schools at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. This project was in partnership with
Courageous Stage.

How can we be innovators, helping to make our community thrive?


School Team: Middle School Science and Art

Teaching Artist: Susan Palmer, theater

This project introduced the concept of innovation as a process that can be used in all learning, one which applies a growth mindset and helps the learner along their journey towards more in-depth understanding. Students carried the innovation thread into their studies of theater, physical science, music and visual art.


How do I spark, fuel and connect with others on a creative journey?
School Team: Instructional Coach, Theater Arts, Visual Arts

Teaching artist: Gowri Savoor, visual art 

Seniors at Winooski High, working on their “Creativity Capstone” project, explored climate change and created a Fire and Ice installation with video, costumes and a sculpture installation depicting their learning.

What if kids were in charge?


School Team: Grade 3/4, Grade 1/2, Physical Education, Kindergarten, Principal

Teaching Artist: Barbara Paulson, puppeteer/theater

K-4th grade classes tackled the challenge of redesigning their playground and then shared their process and plan through an original puppet show with the script, soundtrack, puppets, sets and scenery.


Photo: Gordon Miller

How can exploring the past and imagining the future guide our present journey from apathy to empathy?


School Team: English, Social Studies, Music, Science
Teaching artists: Gowri Savoor, visual art; Evan Premo, electronic music composition

Tenth grade students mapped their connections to the past, present and future of their community, then created 3D “journey maps” and an immersive soundscape installation that combined interviews with community members, original electronic music and projected images.

3D wall display_edited.jpg

How can I be a wind of change?


School Team: Grades 1, 4 and 5

Teaching Artist: Gowri Savoor, visual art

Through sculpture (wind chimes) and flag making, students identified and explored various forms of communication, reflected on how their words and actions impact others, how to process positive and negative emotions in a healthy ways, and how and why change occurs.


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