This page includes a poem, photos, comments and drawings from college, and high school students inspired by the installation

Art can play a role for advocacy and change.

If you are interested in more information about the installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin documentation of the four year project is on my web site.   
   

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Math classes at Castilleja School came to study the mathematical concepts of the bell curve.

This bell curve is a divided into 9 stanines. The center 3 stanines have the most pencils. This represents that standardized tests are nationally normed so that most students test performance places them in the center 3 stanines. Students that "deviate from the norm" on standardized tests fall in the outer stanines.

Poem by Richard A. Burn's, novelist & poet, student at DeAnza College, 2012  

Poem by Richard A. Burn's, novelist & poet, student at DeAnza College, 2012
 

The drawings below are from art classes taught by Deborah Trilling, Castilleja School, Palo Alto.

This drawing says:  "I never noticed how often I use a not-so-insignificant pencil. This exhibit makes me think."  Comment from student at Castilleja. 

This drawing says: 
"I never noticed how often I use a not-so-insignificant pencil. This exhibit makes me think." 
Comment from student at Castilleja. 

Drawing by Jose, 11th grade

Drawing by Jose, 11th grade

Drawing by Aurora, 12th grade

Drawing by Aurora, 12th grade

"Some people's comments and ideas made me think about things I never had thought about in the past. I learned so much by listening to other students' opinions on the standardized testing as well as their educational successes."  - Jordan Fowler

Drawing by Smriti, 10th grade

Drawing by Smriti, 10th grade

Drawing by Anne, 10th grade

Drawing by Anne, 10th grade

Drawing by Anna, 10th grade

Drawing by Anna, 10th grade

"Standardized testing shows a part of me, but not all of me."   - Maddie, 9th grade

Drawing by Hannah, 10th grade

Drawing by Hannah, 10th grade

Drawing by Charlotte, 11th grade

Drawing by Charlotte, 11th grade

Drawing by Nickie, 10th grade

Drawing by Nickie, 10th grade

"Should you be labeled as a color/number/score? Is there such a way to do both? I love your art and everything you are trying to do to spark discussion and think of equal assessments." - Student comment from The Pencil Symposium

Photograph by Maddie Tarr  

Photograph by Maddie Tarr
 

Drawing by Josie, 1th grade

Drawing by Josie, 1th grade

Drawing by Lindsey, 10th grade

Drawing by Lindsey, 10th grade

"Thanks again for the opportunity and I really enjoyed being a part of this once in a lifetime experience to be in the film and also just learn about your artwork. This piece is truly inspiring and I will take the knowledge I have gained forward in my career as a student and beyond." - Comment & photo by Maddie Tarr

"Thanks again for the opportunity and I really enjoyed being a part of this once in a lifetime experience to be in the film and also just learn about your artwork. This piece is truly inspiring and I will take the knowledge I have gained forward in my career as a student and beyond." Comment & photo by Maddie Tarr

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Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin   at Anita Seipp Gallery, Castilleja School where it was photographed for the article in American Craft.

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Funding for the video of local high schools students discussing the impact of standardized testing and the EOP provided by Applied Materials Excellence in the Arts Grants, a program of Arts Council of Silicon Valley.