News Releases

Mines students spark youth imaginations as engineering and art collide
Release Date Tuesday, January 8, 2013
RAPID CITY, S.D. (Jan. 8, 2013) - Children are often taught technology and art are mutually exclusive. You're right brained or left. Einstein or Picasso. An artist or an engineer. In reality, and throughout history, the two are far more intimately entwined: both expressions of imagination, creativity and human ingenuity; both, explorations of the unknown. Propelled by this ethos, Mines students partnered with the Dahl Arts Center on a project aimed at bridging this gap, engaging and exciting the future generation about the interfaces among science, engineering and art. The project, a donation box for the interactive art and science youth room, will be unveiled from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, coinciding with the Dahl's Saturday Art Adventures program.

An eight-month labor of love, the donation box, proposed and sponsored by the Dahl, was conceived as part of the students' senior capstone design course, aimed at offering students a learning experience that spans conception and design to manufacturing and final production. The team, self-named "Big Money," met with Dahl personnel throughout the process to develop a project that met the center's needs: a wide base for child safety and all interactive features placed about two to three feet high. In homage to the convergence of two worlds, the upper-left half of the box is technologically-themed, while the upper-right features art.

The multidisciplinary team included both mechanical and electrical engineering students, all of whom graduated this December: Garret Aman, Michael Boschee, Nicolas Holzer, John Jensen and Johnny Mize. Jason Ash, instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Ralph Grahek, instructor and technician in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, served as advisors to the team. Victoria Ledford, Tyler Read, Naomi Even-Aberle and Pepper Massey at the Dahl provided feedback on the design. Pacific Steel and Recycling donated the metal for the frame, with the remainder of expenses absorbed by the Dahl Arts Center.

The Dahl's Saturday Art Adventure entitled "Sensational Sculptures" will explore the use of texture and elements, as children create water, earth, wind and fire through the sense of touch. Saturday Art Adventures offer free, family-oriented activities, performances, demonstrations and tours of the galleries.