Academy Students Celebrate Completion of Sundial Project

Today students at the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering celebrated the completion of a sundial project started by last year’s academy class of 2017. The 8th graders last year got an assignment to design a sundial that could be a monument outside the academy to their class, the first group of students to complete the academy two-year program. The assignment integrated their studies of astronomy and the Solar System in 8th grade science, their study of circles in geometry, and their study of air navigation and celestial navigation in aerospace science. All six student crews (groups of four to five students) designed a sundial, then they presented their designs along with a scale model to Mr. Dias, Assistant Principal at that time. He chose the winning design. Then the winning crew had to present the design and a full-scale model to Dr. Collins, Superintendent, who approved the construction of the sundial. The district staff then helped us find an appropriate contractor for the sundial’s pavers, the Homer C. Godfrey Company of Bridgeport, and a contractor to install them this spring, Stonehedge Landscaping of Newington. Today we did a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the opening of the sundial, almost a full year after the students initially designed it. The ribbon cutters were the original crew of student designers: Richard Greczkowski, Alek Jorge, Sydney Morgenthau, and Olivia Mullings. See my post from last year describing this project. After the ribbon cutting, they all said a few words expressing their amazement and pleasure at how well the sundial turned out.

Here are photos of today’s ribbon cutting, as well as a series of photos taken each hour on the hour to show the sundial’s almost perfect accuracy.

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Author: Bryan Holmes, Physics & Math Teacher, STEM Competition Mentor

Starting at Thomaston High School in Thomaston, Connecticut, in fall of 2018.

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