About Connections

Science Making Connections

Science Making Connections is an excellent wearable project choice for an authentic assessment of a student’s knowledge of a particular cycle.  Great for illustrating any number of cycles including life cycles, food webs, rock cycle, metamorphosis, water cycle, photosynthesis, carbon cycle, and more.

Learn all about how your students can make their very own Science Making Connections t-shirt or apron below.

Steps for creating a Cycle Wearable

If your students are not confident in their ability to draw, providing clip art as an inspiration might be the answer to letting them create a wearable project they will be proud to model.   For these instructions, we are using the Butterfly Life Cycle, but any cycle will work.  Some students may be able to draw the life cycle on their plan sheet free-hand and merely want the clip art for reference.

1. With the clip-art images you provide, students can plan, select, and trace the life cycle stages onto their Science Making Connections Plan Sheet.  Give them several different images of each stage from which to choose so that each shirt is unique.  Be sure to have lots of plan sheets available so students can start over until they are satisfied with their plan.  In this image, you see the butterfly and egg stages have been traced.

2. A plan sheet showing all four stages completed.

3. Arrows have been added.  Outlining the completed plan sheet with a black marker will make the art easier to trace through the fabric of the shirt.  Do NOT color the plan sheet.  You want the image to be black and white for easier visibility through the fabric.  I suggest you collect plan sheets and approve them before moving on to stage four.  This will give you an opportunity to check for errors or make suggestions for improvement.

4. Distribute shirts to students and demonstrate how to slide the completed plan sheet inside the shirt and center it in the Science Making Connections circle.  Smooth the fabric and secure the plan sheet and shirt together using 2 paper clips to keep the art underneath in place.  Students should be able to see the art on the plan sheet through the fabric.  Make adjustments to the position of the plan sheet if necessary.

5. Carefully trace your plan sheet onto the fabric of the shirt. Because your plan sheet is underneath the fabric, your marker will not go through to the backside of the shirt.  Once the plan is completely traced, students remove the plan and you collect the black and white shirts before moving on to step 6.

Science Making Connection project with butterfly

6. Coloring the Plan Sheet (optional). I like to have students color their plan sheet using map pencils, crayons, or water color markers before painting on the fabric.  It gives them a chance to see what their finished wearable will look like and make changes before starting on their final project.

7. Preparing to paint fabric – Give each student a manila folder or large piece of folded butcher paper to slide inside the shirt and under the area to be colored.

8. Smooth the fabric and secure paper/folder in place with paper clips.

9. Provide fabric paint markers (Sharpie Stained) or Sharpie permanent markers so students can color their cycle.  Be sure to read* Tips for preserving your wearable science art created with sharpie permanent marker.

10. Image shows the completed project on top with original black and white plan sheet below.

11. Adding a little sparkle to the fabric is optional, but LOVED by kids of all ages.  If you decide to do this, pictured are examples of the paints I recommend.  The glitter diamond is my favorite.  It goes on with a white cast but dries completely clear and can be painted on top of any color to give it a diamond sparkle.  Just put a dollop (quarter size) on a small plastic plate and allow students to paint over their colored fabric.  Note: Let the projects dry for at least 48 hours before sending home. Be sure to provide care and washing instructions listed here.