Unveiling set for mural project connecting kindergarteners to science and art

Artists Working in Education partnership brought project and professional artist to MPS’ Starms Early Childhood Center

MILWAUKEE – A series of murals that have transformed the cafeteria at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Frances Starms Early Childhood Center into an underground science learning experience will be unveiled Thursday by kindergarten students, their teachers, and a professional artist working at the school thanks to Artists Working in Education, Inc.

About 90 kindergarten students will take part in the unveiling set for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 5 at Starms ECC, located in the city’s Midtown neighborhood at 2616 W. Garfield Avenue, Milwaukee 53205.

The four-week project brought artist Francisco X. Mora together with Starms art teacher Karina Kroll, A.W.E. teaching artist Becki Johnson and the kindergarten students at Starms. Students heading to the school’s cafeteria, located in the building’s basement, now see science come to life in murals that depict the usually-hidden world that lies beneath the ground. That includes tunnels and burrows created by mammals along with bird and insect homes.

“My goal was to create a high-quality, project-based early childhood educational experience though art, science and a new partnership with our community by transforming our cafeteria in the lower level of the building,” Kroll said. “I’m hoping that these investigations and art experiences will help students see how life above ground connects to life below.”

Starms Principal Bryan Terry and Assistant Principal Sarah Scifo expressed gratitude for the work of the school’s educators as well as partner A.W.E., which made the project possible.

“The arts and science are disciplines that can inspire one another and lead to innovative ways of thinking,” A.W.E. Executive Director Beth Haskovec said. “Through the creative guidance of professional artists, the students at Starms were able to literally surround themselves with scientific content and ideas in a colorful, and whimsical way. We’ve worked with Starms several times over the past 15 years, and are pleased to be a part of their project-based approach.”


About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report. More MPS news is available at http://mpsmke.com/news.