Linking Arts Education to STEM with Thibra
In an effort to expand artistic frontiers within an education system that is overly focused on STEM, Imagination International Inc. (iii) is gave away samples of Thibra, an innovative thermoplastic, to teachers at the NAEA convention.
SEATTLE - March 15, 2018 - originally posted on PRLog -- For the past five years, Imagination International Inc., the well-known distributor of Copic Markers for North America, has showcased the many uses and benefits of the markers at the annual convention for the National Art Education Association (NAEA). This year the company is bringing something new for teachers to try, whether they're attending the convention, or not.
A sculptable thermoplastic called Thibra is now available for arts educators to request a sample of online, or to receive at iii's booth (#613) at the NAEA convention. What makes this material such an interesting opportunity for educators?
Thibra can be used for sculpture, costumes, and product design to name a few. The thermoplastic fits right in with the national convention's 2018 theme: "STEAM". The all-too-familiar "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has been deemed an educational priority. Many educators have been rallying for Arts to be added to the lineup, or what is known as "STEAM". Marianne Walker, the Founder of iii's Youth Education Program is one of them:
"Thibra helps bring arts to STEM. Using Thibra, students can make 3D models not only for art, but yes, for science and engineering too. They can mock-up durable plastic prototypes through sculpture. The end result won't shatter like ceramic. Students catch on quickly with this hands-on material. They learn how to think in a more dimensional way, which enhances their creative problem-solving."
Thibra is an artist-grade thermoplastic that can be slumped, formed, or sculpted. Students love the instantly rewarding experience of working with Thibra to explore their ideas and designs in three dimensions.
After adding some heat to a sheet of Thibra, students can sculpt it with bare hands or standard sculpting tools. After heating the material with a heat gun or hot water, at 120º, it softens into a smooth plastic putty-like material. Thibra then hardens in seconds when dipped in cool water. Once hardened, the thermoplastic retains fine details without being brittle. Marianne explains why teachers appreciate Thibra:
"After teaching high school students at our local library, I was surprised with how students, several with special needs, took their creativity to different places. With only minimal instruction and a short 45 minute period, these students had a successful experience creating jewelry, wands, and more. It's exciting to think about what teachers might do with Thibra. Let's say students are learning about art deco in architecture, instead of just working with pictures and essays, they can sculpt actual examples for their presentations."