SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Sleepy Hollow High School students visited Hudson River Museum to learn the aesthetics and science behind the museum’s exhibition, "Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940."
Sleepy Hollow High School art teacher Angela Langston used the exhibition to allow her studio art students to examine the links between American modernism and Hudson River School painting.
In six sessions, students learned that the ideals expressed in Hudson River School canvases from the 1820s through the turn of the century expressed a vision to which many artists clung decades after great physical change to the region’s landscape.
Other artists from the Ashcan School turned towards the Machine Age and painted arching bridges, swinging cranes and streamlined ocean liners moving in and out of the city’s harbor.
In two workshop sessions, art students explored the making of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. They investigated the forces that are exerted on bridges and learned the basic components of a bridge. They then constructed a cable-stayed harp bridge out of paper.
The model was then built to a prescribed scale. Students added embellishments to models, such as the river, trees, roads and land mass to complete the model.
Chemistry and sublime science teacher Jason Choi utilized the exhibit to present modern alchemy to his Advanced Placement chemistry students.
Choi's class mixed gravel, sand, cement and water to transform these materials into concrete. The students were charged with making the concrete even stronger by reinforcing it with a twisted metal clothes hanger.
After the concrete had dried and hardened, the students took a hammer to their creations to test for hardness. Students were surprised by how hard the reinforced concrete was compared to the plain concrete.
The experience gave students a historical perspective regarding the impact of science on society.