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Artists at school


Valérie Walker
Rickie Lea Owens

Arts visuels
Electronics arts


Valérie Walker et Rickie Lea Owens

A transmedia artist and TAG/Hexagram interactive gaming interface researcher, Valérie teaches in Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and at artist-run centres in Montréal and internationally. Producer and on-air host of radio show “The XX Files” for 15 years, Valérie is a force of nature, an alchemist and master of the indigo dye. Her research-driven art blends such concepts as craft-based sensibility, bio-healthy processes, tactility and wearable controllers. Valérie is a multi-talented nature lover, holding a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA (fibre and inter-media) from NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Valérie enjoys teaching ail aspects of inter-media, studio arts, fibre and computational arts while impressing social and environmental responsibility on her students.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Art is inherently involved with learning about our environment and each other. We learn best via physical-mental interactions. Art-based learning provides that in a way which connects with a diverse body of students of all age groups. Teaching via art and science is a key facet of my practice. Environmental and social awareness in all aspects of creation is infused into every workshop experience. This approach provides a rewarding artistic experience while bringing up the many reasons responsible citizens try to take good care of our planet and lighten our global “footprint.” Exploring and learning while creating has a long-lasting, positive impact.

Other examples of activities

Workshop 1

Silly circuits – Sounds of matter – Build the circuit/Reading circuit diagrams

We use simple, hands-on building and trouble-shooting of 555 timer integrated circuits to develop a greater comprehension of scientific and math-based concepts taught as part of the electronics curriculum in grades 5–11. This workshop has been offered to the public at the Montréal Science Centre and various schools in French and English with a great response across all age groups. Using a simple kit of basic electronic parts, we build a sound circuit that lets students create music or sounds based on what things sound like! It's easy and fun to learn and play with electronics! This is a fun introduction to reading circuit diagrams and using a prototype board.

Workshop 2

Silly circuits – Sound creator – Music of nature

Working from a simple 555 timer integrated circuit, students will explore the various resistances and sounds produced by materials in their classroom. We start with the circuit mostly built and students will finish and trouble-shoot the final circuit in order to develop a greater comprehension of scientific and math-based concepts taught as part of the electronics curriculum in grades 5–11. Various plants and materials and the sounds they generate will be compared, explored and noted. If a musical class or one using a digital sound editing tools like Audacity, GarageBand or Pro Tools, the sounds created can be used in audio compositions in other classes.

Workshop 3

Silly circuits – Light draw nature!

Starting from the same 555 timer integrated circuit basis as the previous workshop, students will use regular graphite pencils to draw and explore the sounds of their drawings. Circuits can also be modified to use light sensors and other types of sensors if desired, and all the same possibilities with sound editing are also present.

Special conditions

We provide all circuit kits, tools and materials needed for use in the workshop. We can work with the finished circuit, focusing on the sound generation and resistive nature of materials, or slow down and spend more time on the circuit building and diagram reading portion in order to work with the class and teacher's needs.

For information

Valérie Walker
Téléphone : 514-934-1459
Courriel :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



3e primaire, 4e primaire, 5e primaire, 6e primaire, 1er secondaire, 2e secondaire, 3e secondaire, 4e secondaire, 5e secondaire, Adaptation scolaire (préscolaire et primaire), Adaptation scolaire (secondaire)

Available in

Toutes les régions

Other language(s)


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