Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

May 06, 2022

Middle School Dean of Students Jim Signorelli knows how to get students excited about math. “Suzanne (director of the middle school musical The Wizard of Oz: Young Performer’s Edition) needed a Wizard head,” explains Jim. “My math students already had experience crafting projects with fun materials for previous assignments, so I knew we could handle it.”

When the call came for the Wizard’s head, Jim’s math students had just finished lessons on similar geometric shapes and scale drawing as a part of a unit on ratios and proportions. “Perfect timing!” says Jim. Working from a drawing of a head, students took measurements and converted them to a much larger scaled face. “The head is huge! They broke it down into 35 pieces, like a puzzle.”

Students spent seven classes, and several volunteered hours after school, bringing the Wizard head to life with cardboard, foam core, and hot glue. “In addition to converting the scale, they also had to translate from a 2D image to a 3D sculpture,” explains Jim. “That is not a simple task. There was a lot of trouble-shooting involved.”

“When we first started, they didn’t fully understand the end goal,” shares Jim. “To them it was a lot of measuring, drawing, and cutting. But when it finally all came together, they couldn’t believe how great it turned out!”

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