Glass Mobile Hung at Brett!

What are these kids looking at? mobile.hanging31

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Find out below, with lots more photos...

An exciting event took place this past month at the K. A. Brett School in Tamworth, involving kids, adults, a Genie, a clevis, a pulley, and a gorgeous glass mosaic mobile of the five Platonic solids created by Brett 6th and 7th graders working with math artist Hans Schepker.

Schepker spent a week in Tamworth in November as part of an Arts Council of Tamworth school and community-wide Art Connects Us artist residency. Community members and area teachers explored paper math art, from folded hyperbolic paraboloids to origami variations on a dodecahedron. In the Brett middle school, eighth-graders soldered glass stars within stars that were formed into a dodecahedron that will hang in the middle school math room. 6th and 7th graders learned about the Platonic solids and created glass mosaics of their many faces. You’ll remember that Platonic solids are regular, convex polyhedrons with congruent faces of regular polygons and the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Only five solids meet these criteria, and they are named for their number of faces: tetrahedron, hexahedron (goes by “cube” on the playground), octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron. (You can learn how to make your own here.) Do the math and you’ll see that students created beautiful math-themed mosaics on 50 glass faces! Hans Schepker then formed these faces into the five solids and created a mobile.

On January 21, with indispensible assistance from Tim Robinson and Dan Walker of John E. Roberts Excavation, Roy Roberts and Bill Arnold at the Brett School, Brett Principal Ken Hawkins, and a number of middle school students, Schepker lifted the mobile into place where it now hangs from the ceiling in the cafeteria, a living reminder of the beauty of three-dimensional geometry, the myriad connections between math, science and art, and the skill, effort, and creativity of local students. Stop by and take a look if you’re in the area.

Enormous thanks to John E. Roberts Excavation and everyone at the Brett School who made the installation of the mobile possible, and to residency sponsors Meadow Pond Animal Hospital and Settlers’ Crossing for funding creative activities open to every member of this community, to the Gibson/Woodbury Foundation for their generous materials grant, and to the Tamworth PTA, the K. A. Brett School, the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts and The Tamworth Foundation. Arts Council of Tamworth is supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

Tim Robinson prepares the Genie:

mobile.hanging02Dan Walker removes the clamp from one I-beam in preparation for moving it to the beam that will carry the mobile...

mobile.hanging03...and hides that it was ever there.

mobile.hanging10Meanwhile students bring the five Platonic solids down to the cafeteria and watch as Hans assembles the mobile. Last chance to touch the pieces!

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mobile.hanging08Because these mobiles are the work of fifty hands, each is different.

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mobile.hanging14Assembling the pulley. Tim had just the right sized clevis in his kit to make this possible.

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mobile.hanging15Lights, cameras, action! Principal Hawkins, Hans Schepker, Alt. Ed. teacher Bill Arnold and students carry the mobile into position.

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mobile.hanging17Going up...

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 Principal Hawkins takes over pulley duty as Hans and Dan ascend in the Genie to attach the mobile.

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mobile.hanging24And going down!

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mobile.hanging26There she is, catching and reflecting the light...

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That's what those students were looking at!mobile.hanging34