Sacred Geometry Field Trip

We were honored to have a visit today from students from Stone Mountain School. I had been told that this was a boarding school for troubled middle and high school boys. But if I hadn’t heard that spiel ahead of time, I would have sworn I was meeting seeing a group of boys from a college-prep charter school. In other words, they were great kids! Much better behaved than the folks I remember from my own public school days. They were so out-going, bright, interested, and open to learning and participating. Fabulous day!

Due to HIPAA regulations, you won’t find student faces in the pictures here. But I wanted to give you a sense of our day nonetheless. The morning had about an hour of service time where the boys helped weed in the gardens. They then got to meet all the beasties around the farm. They thought our young chickens and pigs were very cute and spent a fair amount of time nosing with the horses. Then we went in and everyone prepared, ate, and cleaned up the mid-day meal which included eggs and veggies from the farm. The boys had picked the lettuce and asparagus themselves just minutes before meal-prep.

Dory demonstrates 1+1=4
Dory demonstrates 1+1=4
John shares his passion for Buckminster Fuller
John shares his passion for Buckminster Fuller

Then Dory and John did a demonstration of how triangles can be used to demonstrate alternative ways of looking at number and quantity — how a sum can be greater than the simple count of its constituent parts. For instance, if you use three equilateral triangles to build one larger figure, a fourth triangle is formed in the center, meaning that 1+1+1 can equal four. This lead to discussion of synergy and group dynamics — how working together is exponentially more productive, not to mention more fulfilling.

Everyone then trucked out to the woodshop and experimented with compass and ruler to create perfect equilateral triangles, squares, and other polygons without measuring but instead using the Vesica Pisces intersection of circles to construct the forms the way the ancients did. We also explored the concepts of Phi and the Golden Mean and the boys seemed to be really fascinated with measuring themselves, the dog, the plants, etc. with Dory’s Golden Mean calipers. Great fun!!

John talks about ancient architects
John talks about ancient architects
SMS instructors Meghan and Tom
SMS instructors Meghan and Tom with Dory in foreground.
Student explores geometric forms
Student explores geometric forms
Constructing equilateral triangles the old-fashioned way
Constructing equilateral triangles the old-fashioned way
Student uses Golden Mean calipers to measure relationships in nature
Student uses Golden Mean calipers to measure relationships in nature

These students were from one SMS Geometry class and another class from the same school will visit next Monday. The geometry teacher, Meghan Ganser, was very cool. She really knew how to connect Math to other aspects of life, art, and nature, which adds so much more depth and interest than the classes I remember from my high school days. These guys are so lucky to have a forward-thinking school that makes learning an integrated, living experience! The other instructor who came with the class was Tom Ostrander. He’s a field instructor at Stone Mountain with interests in martial arts and a variety of sports as well as a diversified educational background — business admin to divinity school. He seems to be a great role model for teens who might be facing extra challenges.

Dory, John and I had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again next week.

-Vanessa

Farm-fresh lunch
Farm-fresh lunch
This entry was posted in education. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>