The Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture class of Sheboygan County Christian High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, took home first place in Kohler Foundation’s 20th annual Gingerbread Festival. This was the first time the school participated in the event, which accepts entries from schools and community groups. Ten other structures were entered at the high school level.
The class’s seven students opted to create a stadium as their entry. Starting with a graham cracker structure, the students were allowed to use only edible materials (aside from glue) on the construction. After creating the structure on a 2'x 2' piece of plywood, the students added embellishments and details using frosting, candies, and pretzels. Students worked through the design and engineering process as they had to conceptualize their idea, brainstorm possible solutions, build the structure, improve and fix problems, and communicate through written reflections. “Creating a 3-D design with structural integrity along with aesthetic appeal proved challenging,” said art teacher Lisa Brown. “Learning how to communicate clearly and work collaboratively to solve problems was a big takeaway for the students.”
“My favorite part was seeing students step up into different roles as they worked together,” said Brown. “A few students surprised me by stepping up as leaders, as they had a vision for the direction to take the design. Just as importantly were the students who were always willing to step in and help where there was a need. Every student played a crucial role in making it work.”
The entries were on display at the Kohler Foundation from late November through the month of December. Those who attended the event voted on their favorites, and the stadium garnered the most votes, winning the school’s art department a $500 prize.