Benson STEAMLand

The Land of Wonders

Presented by the PS 200 Band in collaboration with STEAM Saturdays.

For four Saturdays in March, students in the PS 200 Music, Art, and Technology Departments met in collaboration to learn about culture. Over the course of the month, the students looked inward at their own cultures, looked for commonalities with their peers, and used this insight to create a new civilization made up of small, very different, but connected communities. Through a STEAM-based lens, students learned how ecosystems and environment influenced aspects of culture such as food, clothing, infrastructure, and industry. These elements then informed the communities' traditions, celebrations, festivals and folk music. After much discussion and brainstorming, students created sculptures of the curious animals that were to be found in these new communities. Animal sounds were then made using extended techniques on band instruments. The communities' infrastructures were designed using clay. The folk songs were composed and arranged for full band by the students.

The students now present their work as if this civilization were newly discovered, documented and archived in a museum. They presented their collaborative work at the band's spring concert.


Students began by examining their own culture with this writing prompt based on George Ella Lyon's famous poem, "Where I'm From."


Students then worked together to create new communities with well-defined cultures by first deciding on the community's ecosystem. The ecosystem then informed the community's clothing, food, industry, and infrastructure. Native animals and their native sounds were created in sculpture and with extended technique on band instruments. With these aspects of life established, myths were born which led to festivals and folk songs!


The Band students worked with Mr. Leo and Mrs. Perez to create folk melodies and then arrange them for various ensembles within the band. Here are some of their sketches.


Art students worked with Mr. Lombardi and technology students worked with Mrs. Lauriat to create sculptures of the native animals and infrastructures of the communities.


The students' work was presented as the spring band concert with great success!


Students discuss the collaboration.


Emily, a 5th grade trumpet player, describes how the collaboration worked during STEAM Saturdays.

Olivia & Sylvia

Olivia & Sylvia, 5th graders, worked together on a folk song for Frappeland. They discuss what it was like to be a composer.


Andrew, a 4th grader, explains how the band worked with the art students to create sounds for the animal sculptures.

Band students filled out a reflection for Mr. Leo about what it was like to compose.