Collaboration with Rio Gallinas Middle School

Educational Component: Rio Gallinas Charter School Collaboration

One of our charges–in collaboration with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum–is to create curricular materials using the technique of photogrammetry in order to educated children about O’Keeffe and her work.  NMHU graduate students created a curriculum for 8th graders which incorporates the study of the arts and ecology.  The project, Through the Lens: from Painting to 3d Photogrammetry, was piloted as a collaboration with students in Abby Gump’s  8th grade class at the Rio Gallinas Charter school in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The curriculum combines ecology and the arts though the creation of 3d models, documenting the growth, of species of flowers that O’Keeffe herself painted.  This project naturally incorporates –S.T.E.A.M. [science, technology, art and math] principles–through the use of photogrammetry to create 3d models of these flowers.

Here is an overview of the project components:


First, students were introduced to O’Keeffe and her work, focusing on her flower series.  We discussed the trajectory of her work as well as her influences (people and places).  O’Keeffe had a unique vision and way of seeing the world which his articulated in her paintings.  Students were encouraged to think about what inspires them and then to use the tools of 3d photogrammetry to express how they see the world (using a technique that is gaining popularity daily!)

 3d Photogrammetry: 

The students were introduced to photogrammetry through the freeware, 123d catch, which is a cloud based application.  123d catch works in tandem with the iPhone and iPad in addition to DSLR photographs and is is a means to quickly and efficiently process images. For schools with a limited equipment budget this is a more effective approach due to lower entry level cost into photogrammetry as well as the ease of the software.  Further, the final files can either “live in the cloud”, be easily shared with others, or be downloaded and further edited for 3d printing.   After a quick demonstration the students picked up the technique of p photographing in order to make 3d models quite quickly.


Within the ecology portion of the project, students learned about the kinds of flowers that O’Keeffe painted.  They  planted various seeds and bulbs (based on the kinds of plants that inspired O’Keeffe) and placed them under a grow light.  Students learned how to maintain the plants and then recorded the water amounts, light levels, and measured the plant growth and kept track of these records via the cloud based google excel spreadsheet.

Video and Still Documentation: 

Students documented the components of the project–the problem solving, the process and the results, through the use of video on a weekly basis.  The point is to empower students to recognize that the work they do can be part of a larger community that shares ideas and fosters experimentation.

See some of the Rio Gallinas student work here:

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