Impact on Students


Project AIM creates a learning environment where students become active agents in their own learning through immersion in an artistic process. Students are required to make choices which lead to emergent discoveries that engage personal connections and establish relevance and meaning in the content.

Key Finding #1 - Executive Functioning and Critical Thinking Skills Improved

Students involved in Project AIM demonstrated  statistically significant increases in higher order thinking skills on pre- and post- student surveys. Students were asked to respond to a set of questions derived from executive functioning and critical thinking constructs. Those constructs and findings are captured below.

Key Findings 1- Student w: her art.jpg

Project AIM saw an increase in student functioning by 16% pre to post.

"We were able to create our own characters and their backstories. Then we became those characters." 

 “I liked the fact that we had the freedom to do anything that helped our performance, we didn’t have to follow strict rules and our creativity wasn’t limited.”

 "I loved having a mock trial, that felt so real! We got to take a real issue in our hands and do the best we could to make it right , including real research." 


Project AIM saw an increase in student functioning by 14% pre to post.

“I mostly enjoyed planning out because that’s when I can let my imagination go wild and come up with cool and interesting ideas.”

 Alba/ Vasill 2017 

Project AIM saw an increase in student functioning by by 9% from pre to post.

“This piece is important to me because I made it, and things that I make are important to me because being creative is very important.”

Sequeria/Wolf 2017

“I really liked that I got to decide how it would look, the music, the volume, what photos I used, the mood, the tone, etc.”

Alba/McDermott 2017

Project AIM saw an increase in student functioning by by 9% from pre to post.

“I learned a lot of different stances and facts about each argument (for gun control) and in the end it made me think a lot more and I formed my new opinion based on the stuff I learned.”

Castro/Evans 2017

“I learned that you actually have to discuss a topic so you can get everyone’s point of view so you have many sides to pick from and support.”

Castro/Evans 2017

“I also liked seeing the different collages other people made and comparing how mine was similar to and different from other collages that were representing the same event as me.”

Jenski/Wortendyke 2017

Key Finding #2 -  Students Exceed Learning Goals

Key Findings 2- Students recording video.jpg

“Poetry and the constitution are related because they both serve a purpose, they mean to influence. In my experience, poetry helped me learn about the constitution because we really had to think about the meaning and significance of the words that construct the constitution.”

Morea/Walk-Faust 2017

"During this project we learned to write poems.  We learned to not just read the poems but to feel the poems."

Young/Shaw 2016

“Our performance helps others know that after all these years their heritage still lives on in art.”

Project AIM Student


“My grandparents immigrated to America and I have heard it generally on the news. However, I never knew that you could channel that into poetry. I really enjoyed entering the minds of an immigrant and understanding the struggles they went through. I enjoyed going back to my roots and writing about where I came from.” 

Morea/Walk-Faust 2017


“The emotion we had towards [the project] as individuals surprised me in a good way.”

Project AIM Student

“I like the teamwork we showed throughout the unit. It was fun working with my peers and creating new ideas. I think I would try to be more open-minded about new ideas and make sure everyone follows along and cooperates equally.”

Project AIM Student

"Looking at the video and hearing my voice made me feel as if i accomplished a great thing, not only for myself, but with people who I have shared my 8th grade year with." 

Young/Shaw 2016

"I love how we got to tell our own stories."

Project AIM Student

“...we learned how to make images that had nothing to do with one another react with each other. Many times our final design for the project was turned down and we had to alter it many times to get the effect we wanted. The best part about this unit in my opinion is how we combined Social Studies and art to make it much more interesting and also give our own perspective on it, not just grab one from the book.”

Wortendyke/Jenski 2017

“When I actually made something... and I had to make every aspect meaningful I understand it on a deeper level.”
Project AIM Student

Source: U.S. Department of Education Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant, Translations: Multi-Directional Learning in the Arts, Literacy and Math (TML) 2008-2012, Found in Translation: Interdisciplinary Arts Integration in Project AIM by Debra Ingram, Lara Pruitt, and Cynthia Weiss