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BalletMet partners with Reynoldsburg school for STEM project


Technology’s role in the performing arts was the focus of a recent collaboration between BalletMet and Reynoldburg’s eSTEM Academy.

The initiative, supported by a grant from Time Warner Cable Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), aimed to give students a better idea of how science, technology, engineering and math are used in the production of BalletMet performances.

Brandon Curtis, BalletMet’s production assistant, and Kenny Pargeon, CAD instructor at Reynoldsburg High School’s Summit campus, worked with roughly 80 students on a project inspired by Sleeping Beauty.

They were grouped together and tasked with designing a throne, based on a certain time period, for King Floristan in the ballet. It had to be both functional and inventive.

Pargeon said the project gave students a chance to apply the lessons they’d been learning throughout the year.

“They could see the design cycle that we talk about every time we start a project here and see how it applies to a real-world scenario,” he said.

The resulting chairs ranged from medieval-inspired to steam punk and futuristic.

After reviewing, Curtis and Pargeon selected 10 chairs they thought best met the project’s requirements. These chairs, shown above, were 3D printed and will be displayed in the lobby of the Capitol Theatre during BalletMet Dance Academy’s annual spring performance.

“It was probably the most engaging [project] we’ve had so far because it’s the most real world applicable,” Pargeon said.

With the help of grants like the one from Time Warner Cable, BalletMet hopes to continue its partnerships with area schools on similar initiatives.