Architecture and Design K–6

We will be integrating the engineering aspect of STEM with art and architecture. At Beacon Heights Elementary, this year's school-wide focus was on architecture and design in K–6. From conceptual design for the future to actual bench Installations, we will share lesson plans for each grade level, show examples of student work, and present video documenting this process.

Donna Pence

Donna Pence is a glass artist, photographer, and arts educator.  She currently works as a BTS visual arts specialist for Beacon Heights Elementary in Salt Lake City School District and as an arts and media instructor at Clayton Middle School.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in 1985 and received an MEd from Utah State University in 2012.

For nearly all her life Donna has described our world in the medium of stained glass, approaching it as a medium or a prism for life as well as for light. She began working with glass in 1977 when she was 20 years old, after taking an adult education class at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In the subsequent 12 years, she immersed herself in the stained glass foil technique, and soon began teaching continuing education classes for Westminster, the University of Utah, and some smaller institutions. She opened a glass studio and supported herself through commissions, teaching opportunities, festivals, and shows. She experimented with kiln-fired glass and eventually received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Utah in 1984. She later worked as an interior designer until 2008. 

In 2006 Donna became reacquainted with her love of the glass medium through the form of glass mosaics. The textural quality of the technique, it's potential to transition color changes without introducing a linear element, and the marriage of sand and glass as related yet opposite mediums rekindled a lost inspiration. The following year, after attending a mosaic workshop in Ravenna, Italy and a glass painting workshop on portraiture, she and her husband, Paul Heath, received a public art commission to tell the history of Emigration Canyon in the medium of glass mosaic (2007). That commission was followed by another to portray the history and landscape of Magna for the new Magna Fire Station (2011). When not working on public art or teaching, Donna displays her personal mosaics and photographs at the Michael Berry Gallery in Salt Lake City and at Gallery 24 in Torrey, Utah. Her work is predominantly influenced by her travels, acquaintances with diverse cultural backgrounds, and abstract landscapes.