Artist Ellie Balk and The Green School's Assistant Principal Nathan Affield are at it for the third time, using mathematics to connect high school students to the community by painting large-scale murals in East Williamsburg.
In 2012, students constructed an image of the golden spiral based on the Fibonacci Sequence and began to explore the relationship between the golden ratio and Pi. With your help, The number Pi was represented in a color-coded graph within the golden spiral. In this, the numbers are seen as color blocks that vary in size proportionately within the shrinking space of the spiral, allowing us to visualize the shape of Pi and its negative space to look for "patterns". The students soon realized that the irrational number of Pi created no patterns at all, resulting in a space that resembles “noise”.
So in response to that, last year you helped us visualize the number Pi as a reflective line graph that resembles a sound wave. The colors of the mural change at each prime number in Pi so that the viewer can visualize a pattern of prime numbers within Pi. Located on a busy corner in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the sounds of the bustling traffic and rhythmic commuter passing creates the perfect backdrop for our visualization.
This year is YOUR project!
We come to you for your support to help us create a NEW Visualize Pi mural project! For this visualization we want show Pi in one point perspective so that we can create an illusion of the number getting smaller and smaller in space and going on forever.
Visualize Pi Perspective will be created and executed by the Green School Students in their East Williamsburg community. Each number will be color coded and can be read from left to right. 3.14159...where 1=red, 2=deep teal, 3=light purple...Each horizontal line in the graph represents a bar with a base of 10. The 3 whole numbers of Pi are the light purple bars at the top of the graph followed by 1415926535.. Since the sequence of numbers after the 3 are decimals, the number is represented as a fraction of the base 10 bar and we can visualize it getting smaller and smaller into space. This visualization is exciting because we can see the digits of Pi reading left to right, but we also have this other number represented in the negative space where .14159 becomes .96951.
The Visualize Pi work is inspired by a long partnership between The Green School's Assistant Principal Nathan Affield and Artist Ellie Balk.
In 2012, students explored climate change through visualized data of weather patterns dating back from 1930 to a projection of the future. This mural is located on Moore Street near Graham Ave in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For this project we partnered with Borinquen Plaza Senior Center where seniors and students worked together in implementing the project.
Back in 2011, Ellie and Nate worked with two statistics classes who surveyed the student body to create a histogram that runs the length of the school, aggregating the emotional path of a student's day.
What math will the students will be learning?
High school Math standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues, preparing the students to think and reason mathematically. Outside the classroom and into the community we can focus on this goal in a direct approach. The move towards the Common Core Standards pushes educators to create curriculum achieving depth instead of breadth. By focusing on the single, transcendental concept of pi across courses, the mathematics department plans to not only deepen student understanding of shape and irrational number, but more importantly, connect these foundational mental schema for students while dealing with the concrete issues of neighborhood beautification and how proportion can inform aesthetic which can in turn improve quality of life.
The project will focus on topics that build a deeper understanding of the irrational number and transcendental mathematical concept of Pi. Pi is used throughout the high school curriculum from discovering the relationship between circumference and diameter in Algebra, using the unit circle to find trigonometric ratios in Algebra 2, analyzing ellipses key to understanding planetary motion in Earth Science and proving shapes congruent in Geometry – all skills necessary in preparation for Regents Exams. Pi is a concept all math and science classes use throughout the school year.
This project is directly in line with national Common Core Math standards:
A.N.1 Properties of real numbers,
A.S.5 Constructing and reading frequency histograms,
A.A.42 Using trigonometric ratios,
A.G.1 Finding area and volume of composite shapes,
A.G.2 Finding volume and surface area of prisms,
G.G.17 Constructing congruent shapes,
G.G.71 Equations of circles,
G.G.27 Circle proofs,
A2.A.60 Unit circle,
A2.A.56 Determining trigonometric functions,
A2.A.61 Finding arc length.
Art skills: color theory, color mixing and large-scale detail painting combining mathematical skill and artistic knowledge to up-scale and measure. Direct contact with the outside community will raise awareness of the power of art to illuminate, inform and influence opinion. (VA, b.m. 1)
Here is what you are investing in:
- An experience that allows students to feel ownership and commitment to the beautification of their neighborhood.
- One-on-one time for the artists and students
- Purchase of professional art supplies
- A spectacular community party and ribbon cutting
Additional funding beyond our goal will take this to the next level! Here's what we will do:
- Be able to go BIG! We may have the opportunity to paint a three story wall in East Williamsburg! That means scaffolding and a whole lot more paint! But seriously...imagine the new Visualize Pi as a 3 story image! WHOA !
- For The Green School math teachers, we will provide a Professional Development opportunity where we will introduce hands-on activities to share ideas on how to use art and visualizations to help teach students to understand complicated math problems.
- We would love to partner with a film artists to help capture the project with professional documentation. This documentation will enhance our reach and help send out our message of working with students and communities to make curriculum integrated pubic art.
- Additional funding will provide the opportunity for Ellie Balk and Nathan Affield to attend a math conference and share our work with a larger community to teach and inspire educators on how to creatively integrate art into their math curricula.
- We have been working closely with the local business improvement districts which are looking for more beautification opportunities. With the great need for art in this district, additional funding has the power to transform this neighborhood with even more public art.
More about Ellie and Nate: We were honored by Mark Hurst to speak at the 2013 Gel Conference. Gel(Good Experience Live) is a conference focused on experience in all its forms -- business, art, society, technology, and life.
For the last two years we have been honored with a Walenta Family Foundation Grant which has allowed us to hire eight teaching artists to come to The Green School to work with the students in creating arts integrated, public art/beautification projects.
We are dedicated to creating and facilitating public art in the community. We believe that art has the power to change lives and through the experiences we have been able to provide we have the proof and excitement to keep going!
PHONE CASES !
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MINOO ALLEN WHO MADE THE AMAZING
KICKSTARTER VIDEO !
Risks and challenges
Besides possible weather challenges, there aren't really any risks for completing the project. The community and school are in support and the KIDS are READY to start painting! All we need to do is meet our funding goal! So that means if we get it, it's done...COLOR AND MATH AND SMILES!! If we don't meet our goal, it's all sad faces and blank walls...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)