Ceramics and STEM students will work together

Collaborative project will take place during second semester


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Projects such as these finished by students enrolled in Mrs. Sara Greene’s ceramics classes now will become work done by engineering students as part of a collaborative effort.

Ellie Schnur, Reporter

There are a select number of elective classes offered that enable students to advance through multiple levels and acquire high levels of expertise. Two of these courses are ceramics and engineering. Comparing their respective curriculums and content, ceramics and engineering initially may appear to have little common ground. 

However, an upcoming collaboration between the two classes expected to successfully combine the work done in each into one cohesive and unusual project.

The idea to partner AP 3D Studio Art and Design students with honors independent study engineering students was proposed during a meeting that included Mr. Daniel Saunders, Mrs. Sara Greene and Ms. Ria Pereira. The central concept was that the collaboration would provide for the unification of “artist and engineer,” according to Greene, who teaches the ceramics classes. 

To do so, a trifold plan was established. First, the ceramics student would create the idea of a piece, which would then be given to the engineer to be 3D modeled, eventually to be developed into a plaster mold to cast the piece several times. This regime would then provide the ceramics student to recreate identical pieces over and over, eliminating the risk of error. 

Josh Ramsey is a senior taking honors independent study engineering this year. He has taken engineering courses since his sophomore year. “My role in the collaboration is to 3D model each piece with computer-aided design software so that the ceramics students can create a three-piece mold. After I have designed the pieces, I will 3D print them on my Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer with polylactic acid.” 

This may sound complicated to an outsider, but Ramsey is no stranger to this type of work. He said, “William Teasley and I collaborated on 3D printing and donating face shields to front line workers having to treat Covid-19 patients.” 

This upcoming collaboration will further add to his experience and prepare him for the product design career that he intends to pursue in the future. Ramsey said, “After this collaboration, I will know what it is like to consult with other specialists to find a common solution and create the customer’s ideas.”

Ellie Sagebiel is another senior who’s currently taking AP 3D Studio Art and Design. Her role, along with the other AP ceramics students, is to send in a drawing of a desired piece to Ramsey for him to code into the computer and print.

Greene notes that “the benefit to the ceramics student is learning the new technique and adding it to their range of possibilities of ceramic work.” 

For Sagebiel specifically, this addition to her collection of skills will be especially important. She plans to attend Northern Arizona University, with a double major in environmental science and studio art with a concentration on ceramics. This collaboration will extend her knowledge and further prepare her for a successful collegiate future.

The collaboration has been finalized and will take place throughout the second quarter. Greene said,  “I am very excited about getting it started. I feel like the first quarter flew by, but now it’s time to get it rolling.”