Geometry students at Culver Academies recently got a hands-on lesson in shapes and sizes when they built a snub dodecahedron with an assist from visiting instructor Hans Schepker, of Harrisville, N.H. Over the past few years, Schepker has led students through the construction of stained glass chandeliers, which were later sold at the Live the Legacy Auction sponsored by the Culver Parents Association.
A snub dodecahedron is one of 13 Archimedean solids. It consists of 80 small triangles and 12 larger pentagons. It has 150 edges and 60 vertices. The students cut, edge, and install the pieces using soldering irons. Along with the chandelier, many of the students are also constructing up to 100 geometric-shaped stained glass centerpieces for the auction.
Instructor Sandra Reavill said the funds raised from selling the pieces will be used to further the program. The eventual goal is to find and equip a dedicated work space for these types of hands-on projects, she added.
A new twist added this year was to have students save their waste in plastic bags. As part of the sustainability program, saving their scraps focused the students’ attention on making sure their measurements were correct before starting. Reavill said stressing waste reduction was not only environmentally friendly, it also helps to reduce costs because the metals used are expensive.
To check their calculations, students spent one day in the Huffington Library constructing a paper model.