The Village Center for the Arts and Robotics And Beyond in New Milford are teaming up for an eight-week program where students will bring together art, technology, design, and imagination to create original kinetic sculptures.

This is a pilot project in STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—education for the two nonprofit organizations.

The program is open to students ages 12 to 17, with younger students accepted on a case-by-case basis.

A maximum of eight students will be accepted.

The class will meet at the VCA at 12 Main St. March 7, 14, 28, April 4, 11 and 25 and May 2, with May 16 as a make-up day, from 4 to 6 p.m.

A final exhibit of all the sculptures will be held May 26.

The kinetic sculpture class will explore a unique approach to art and technology.

By creating sculptural works using some very basic scientific and technical principles, students will use stored energy from simple machines such as a pendulum, spring, or generate energy from water, wind, or gravity to create motion and animate their sculptures.

The two organizations often talked about collaborating.

When VCA Executive Director Sharon Kaufman approached Paul Chayka, her counterpart at Robotics And Beyond, with hopes of igniting a “sculpture in motion” class, the idea came alive.

Chayka and VCA visiting artist Kathryn Whistler devised a program that will provide an overview of aesthetic design, as well as the physics, kinetics, and mathematics involved in the structures and their motion.

Students will spend time seeing examples of kinetic sculptures and then learn about what goes into making them.

They will also be exposed to topics including visual effects, materials and their properties, and engineering tools that can be used for artistic design.

Each student will make his or her own sculpture using a combination of purchased materials, found objects, and moldable clay-like materials formulated by Whistler.

The students will also apply the scientific concepts about motion to create moving sculptures.

“Kinetic sculpture is a fun way to introduce students to very basic concepts in physics, as well as the mechanics equations involved their projects,” said Chayka.

The students will see sculptures that incorporate these concepts, and then use this knowledge in their designs.

“I am looking forward to seeing what movements and energy mechanisms the students come up with,” Chayka said.

Chayka and Whistler share a background in ceramics.

Chayka is a graduate of the ceramic engineering program at Alfred University, where he received B.S. and M.S. degrees.

Whistler, who received a BFA in ceramics from Tulane University, is currently working on entering a Ph.D program in clinical psychology.

Whistler notes that there is incredible crossover between STEM and the fine arts.

“We are excited to give students the opportunity to challenge themselves both technically and artistically, creating work that explores the laws of physics while communicating something unique and human,” Whistler said.

A donor has helped to defray start-up costs, so the cost is $360 per person.

Scholarship assistance is available for New Milford residents through MVP SOS, and both VCA and Robotics And Beyond have scholarship programs.

For more information or to register for this class, call VCA at 860-354 4318.