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Living Life Like a Pumpkin


Art and science converged in Susan Sheets Odo’s second-grade classroom, where students recently depicted the lifestyle of a pumpkin through papier–mâché projects, miniature pumpkin patches, watercolor paintings, jewelry and PowerPoint presentations.

They presented their projects to fellow students and teachers at the Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center, explaining how their artwork showcased the journey of of a pumpkin from tiny seed to bright orange gourd.

Sheets Odo, an artist who has had two pieces in ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids-based annual art competition, said the project challenged her students to understand every step in the growth of a pumpkin and express it artistically. “They are putting their knowledge into art and sharing it with others,” she said.

“It’s fun because you can use different objects,” said second-grader Arlene-Chavez-Sosa. “Science and art are both my favorite things.”

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Susan Sheets Odo’s Artprize pieces

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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