Another year, another new sculpture on the Lake Thoreau spillway put together by South Lakes’ STEAM students. This year, a whole new range of challenges were brought forward. Mr. Rando, art teacher and the supervisor in charge of the whole process, said that he is so proud of his students’ tenacity and perseverance, this year more than ever.
With the lowest budget they’ve ever had and a global pandemic to face, Mr. Rando says one of the main issues was putting together and planning the in-person meetings. “It was more of a challenge and the students had a need to prove something to themselves,” Mr. Rando said in regards to how the students felt about the project.
STEAM Team is always about repurposing materials for their projects. The sculpture itself, “Part and Parcel,” is made from PVC piping donated from local real estate corporation Comstock. Mr. Rando sits on the Reston Board of Directors and one of the other Board members works at Comstock.
But what are materials without an idea? The first mockup concept of it was done digitally by sophomore Ann Ehrlich. This moved to the maquette (a small scale model) made from bamboo skewers to eventually a full scale model in the parking lot. When the idea was tested in its full scale size was when these students were really able to shine using their problem solving and adapting skills. This design needs to be able to stay up on a lake for a good year or so and that required careful planning.
South Lakes has been putting STEAM sculptures on the lake for seven years already, although the program began nine years ago (the first project took two years to complete). Next year will mark one decade of these wonderful projects. These students sure know how to follow up and follow through. Mr. Rando, along with everyone else at South Lakes, is looking forward to their next installation.