Alcott, Walnut Springs students create artwork for snow plows

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The snow plows clearing Genoa Township and Delaware County roads as well as interstate routes across Ohio this winter will feature artwork from Westerville students.

The blades of four Genoa Township snow plows served as a canvas for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Alcott Elementary. Throughout the week, students brought the designs created by art teacher Lee Johnson to life: polka dots, space, people and a wintry scene behind the words, “Snow Day.”

Meanwhile, a team of sixth-grade students at Walnut Springs Middle School spent most of Thursday in the front of the building painting on four snow plow blades as part of Ohio Department of Transportation’s Paint the Plow program. Their designs featured messages inspired by ODOT campaigns: “Save the Bees,” “Walk Bike Ohio,” “Consider/Don’t Litter” and “Ice & Snow Beware.”

Walnut Springs math teacher Maria Soisson introduced the project to Walnut Springs four years ago. Soisson, along with social studies teacher Jeffrey Holmes, English Language Arts teacher Nicole Hatcher and science teacher Pete Wegley, teaches a team of sixth-grade students and wrapped lessons around the ODOT program. 

Students had to research ODOT initiatives, create a campaign around them and draft designs for the snow plow blades. Students vote on the top concepts before they calculate how to enlargen the designs to a surface about seven feet long.

On Thursday, students spent their morning sitting in front of snow plow blades, taking turns to carefully paint their designated section. Intervention specialists Alyx Slusher, Kelly Timmons and Scott Hayes joined the sixth-grade teachers to support students. 

At Alcott, more than 200 students in 11 classes have contributed to the decorated snow plow blades for Genoa Township. Genoa Township officials approached Principal Earl Rahm last school year about having students paint snow plow blades. Rahm shared the proposal with Johnson and both agreed it would be a great learning opportunity for students.

“The kids were so excited to do something that they could see outside in their community,” Johnson said. “So to be either home on a snow day or on their way to school and see the snow plows that they painted was really really meaningful and to be able to do it again this year…they are excited to do it.”