Mezzacello Science Life and Art

Mezzacello Science Life and Art
A concrete plinth, a sun dial, an astrolabe, and an armillary met on a farm…

Mezzacello is an urban farm, applied STEM learning lab, and a summer camp and workshop facility. This is a sculpture I am currently assembling to track the date and time, as well as the location of the sun as the seasons change. A mechanical tool that underscores aspects from Mezzacello science life and art lessons.

The Purpose For Multiple Paths To Learning

We think it is important that our learners have more than one pathway to success. We have a great many ways to determine time, day, light, wind, and weather here at Mezzacello. We wanted to give learners the opportunity to explore their relationship with time and day/season and weather mechanically.

The sundial tracks the sun as well as the location of Polar North. The astrolabe allows learners to track and predict the position and angle of the sun as well as the length of day. The armillary sphere allows users to track the sun and the paths the sun and moon trace throughout the day.

What’s The WiFi Password?

The plinth that this system rests atop also serves a function. The specific height (.75m or 2’4″) allows learners to factor in exact trigonomic functions using the specific height from base to the tip of the armillary. This last bit is an important feature.

Angle θ = Sin-1 (Opposite side/Hypotenuse)

One of our goals for 2024 programming is to use this hybrid sundial / astrolabe / armillary / trigonometric system to have learners gather the angle theta for a location on the horizon. That angle theta will be the WiFi password for that day. If you want learners to choose multiple pathways to learning, you have to give them relevance.

We have found that access to 5G or gasp! even 2.4gHz WiFi is indeed relevant. We want it to be meaningful and useful too. We will see how this plays out.

This is a part of the City of Columbus Parks and Recreation Summer Grant Grant #1521-2023.

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