I also showed this video of students creating six different Rube Goldberg-inspired networks. (Rube Goldberg was the engineering master of simple machine networks)
To begin the project, I show them OKGO's music video "This too shall pass."
After the students watched the videos and I reiterated what a simple machine is, we got down to the nitty gritty of making artwork :)
They began this project by choosing a sillhouetted profile template that was most like them and tracing around the outside. Each student had to make at least one change to the design so that it looked more like them. Many students chose to alter the hair.
To symbolize an idea, the students each began this project by drawing a lightbulb inside of their head.
We did our drawings with black Sharpie, and afterwards used neon watercolors to paint it in.
These turned out so amazing and it was awesome to watch the students get really involved and excited about the network of simple machines that they were creating. It was so much fun to walk around and have the students explain exactly what was going on 'inside of their head.'