Westcott House program to engage students

Artist-in-residence will work with kids.

Ridgewood School students will be illuminated by the Westcott House Center for Architecture and Design’s artist-in-residence program. The students will study various programs starting Monday, March 21, and showcase their work at a public event on Thursday, March 24.

Artist-in-residence Cara Armstrong, who has worked with the Westcott House program in the past and helped bring the Solar Home to the site, is returning to work with students. Different area schools have participated in the program previously, which is funded by an Ohio Arts Council grant.

“Any opportunity to engage students on our site is important,” said Marta Wojcik, executive director and curator for the Westcott House. “We want to make an effort to work with the school systems and work with the community, for those who like architecture and design and kids with all interests.”

Armstrong will also work with students at Snowhill Elementary during her stay.

The Ridgewood sixth- and seventh-grade students will work on science projects, including creating their own solar light-powered Japanese lanterns.

The students will show their finished lanterns during the Equinox event, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Westcott House Solar Home, located at 85 S. Greenmont Ave.

The public is invited, and there is no cost to attend.

The event will also include a presentation, “The Emotional Connection of Street Photography,” by Ridgewood alum Armaan Ahmed, which earned special recognition at a Dayton event in 2015.

Another highlight will be the chance to stargaze with a telescope provided by Wittenberg University professor Daniel Fleisch.

Beth Dixon, Ridgewood’s director of development and alumni relations, said that the school’s science, art and English teachers are also collaborating with the program, which is an unusual mix of subjects.

“We’re looking for cross-disciplinary ways for our students to learn,” Dixon aid. “This is also a way of tapping into one of the gems of our community.”

Also while in Springfield, Armstrong will collect material for a fictional children’s book about the Westcott House.

“This is a great program, and I hope we can continue to do it on an annual basis,” Wojcik said.

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Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.