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The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center extends the popular exhibition Taping Shape through September 5, 2016.

Taping Shape is a multi-gallery structure you can walk through, climb in and explore, created out of 22,000 feet of clear packing tape. The exhibition has had more than 130,000 visitors since opening on January 30, 2016.

June 15, 2016

San Diego--The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center's popular art and science collaborative exhibition, Taping Shape, has been extended through September 5, 2016. The exhibition was originally set to close on Sunday, June 12, but due to its popularity the Fleet has decided to keep it open through the summer.

In Taping Shape, hundreds of rolls of conventional packing tape are unfurled, webbed and layered together to create a maze of translucent rooms and tunnels for visitors of all ages to climb, learn, explore and delight in. The exhibition is part art installation, part marvel of science. The inside of the exhibition features "rooms" where visitors can ponder the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) of Taping Shape.

Explorers will find themselves suspended above the ground in the weaving tunnels and opaque rooms of Taping Shape. The translucent nature of the packing tape creates an otherworldly effect on the light coming into the structure. Surfaces curve, slope and twist to create a smooth, continuous network of cocooning passageways. The "floor" eases into the side of the structure, which gradually becomes the ceiling. Visitors can ruminate on the science of how all the layered bands of tape disperse the weight of the exhibition's explorers and produce springy surfaces and tunnels large enough to walk or crawl into. Observers will also marvel at the technology of packing tape, and how one inch of packing tape can have a tensile strength of more than 35 pounds per inch width.

The exhibition was built over the course of a week and a half by artist and engineer Dave Ghilarducci and Fleet exhibit technicians, with the help of additional Fleet staff and over 250 hours of external volunteer support. More than 660 rolls of tape were used in the original construction of the exhibition, which is a total of 117,000 feet or 22.2 miles of tape. And in case you're wondering what happens to all of that tape at the end of the exhibition's run ... it's recyclable!

"When the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center contacted me about creating this exhibition, I was tremendously excited because I knew the kind of impact the Fleet has on the community," said artist, engineer and Taping Shape creator, Dave Ghilarducci. "Ever since we first started the project, the team here at the Fleet has been wonderful to work with. I'm very excited that the exhibition has been so popular that the Fleet has decided to extend it."

The San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) played an integral role in helping to create Taping Shape. The exhibition was developed as part of the InforMath research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, to explore learning at the intersection of art, science and mathematics. Advisors supplied by CRMSE included mathematician and MacArthur Fellow Jeffrey Weeks and Vassar College professor of mathematics John McCleary. Both advisors worked with the Fleet exhibitions team, Dave Ghilarducci and InforMath principle investigator Ricardo Nemirovsky to develop the topological structure of Taping Shape.

"We love being able to bring something new and unique to our visitors," said Steve Snyder, CEO of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. "We pride ourselves on being a 'do touch' learning center, but Taping Shape is tactile in a way that none of our exhibitions have ever been before. We are excited to welcome our visitors to explore this structure with us."

Taping Shape sparks wonder and excitement surrounding the unusual and unexpected use of materials and forms. The new closing date for the exhibition has been set for Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016. The exhibition is included with the cost of Fleet admission.

Taping Shape was developed by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, in partnership with San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) and San Diego Artist and Engineer Dave Ghilarducci.

Taping Shape was generously funded by National Science Foundation and Genentech, with additional support from 3M.

For more information visit the website at: http://www.rhfleet.org/exhibitions/taping-shape

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To schedule a media preview of Taping Shape, please contact Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or nyoung@rhfleet.org.

Interviews can be scheduled with the Fleet's CEO, Dr. Steve Snyder, artist Dave Ghilarducci, staff from the Fleet's exhibitions team and the math and science advisors that participated in the development of Taping Shape.

Press photos for Taping Shape are available at: http://www.rhfleet.org/press-room/images#19820

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About the Artist: Dave Ghilarducci

Dave Ghilarducci (b. 1963, Chicago, Illinois) holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois. After working in the engineering field for over twenty-five years, Dave's professional background strongly influences both the materials he uses and his process. Also having studied physics and chemistry, Dave's sculptures are extremely influenced by the fundamental constituents of the natural forces that interact and exert on one another.

He currently resides in San Diego, California, where he has participated in numerous solo and group shows, including shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2006) and Track 16 Gallery (2006, 2007). In addition to having previously shown in Encinitas' San Diego Botanic Garden, recent exhibitions include shows at Pulse Gallery (2012); Oceanside Museum of Art (2011, 2012); along with solo shows at Art Produce Gallery (2010) and Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts (2010). Notable commissions include pieces for The New Children's Museum in San Diego, Wavecom Inc., and DBM Inc. For more on Dave Ghilarducci, please visit http://www.daveghilarducci.com/

About the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE)

The Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) is dedicated to advancing mathematics and science education at local, state and national levels. They are an interdisciplinary community of scholars at San Diego State University engaged in research, curriculum development and dissemination, publications, presentations and leadership roles in the community. For more information, please visit http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/education/crmse/.

About InforMath

InforMath is a research project that seeks avenues for transforming cultural perceptions of mathematics in ways that broaden learners' access to the discipline. The project addresses an issue of central importance to the field of STEM education: widespread cultural images of mathematics as an inscrutable domain available only to a small number of people of exceptional intelligence or innate capacity. Widely circulating cultural notions of mathematics as difficult and esoteric inflect many learners' experiences with this discipline and ultimately have the unfortunate potential to discourage participation in or identification with mathematics. For more information, please visit http://informalmathematics.org/.

About Ricardo Nemirovsky, SDSU Professor of Mathematics and Director of CRMSE

Ricardo Nemirovsky has a background in physics, which he studied in his native Argentina, Mexico and the US. He became interested in science education and earned his doctor of education degree at Harvard in 1992. Since then he has been the co-director of the Research Center at TERC, an educational non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Nemirovsy's research program focuses on an investigation of the embodied nature of cognition, with an emphasis on the roles of body motion and kinesthesia in mathematics learning. Additionally, he has designed numerous mechanical devices, software programs and math-oriented exhibits for science and technology museums to enrich the learning of mathematics. For more on Ricardo Nemirovsky, please visit https://newscenter.sdsu.edu/education/crmse/ricardo_nemirovsky.aspx

About Jeffrey Weeks, MacArthur Fellow, Mathematician

Jeffrey Weeks is a mathematician, writer, software developer, and mathematics educator. He has made fundamental contributions to the analysis of knots, and collaborates with cosmologists to interpret the shape of the universe. His mathematical research focuses on describing the topology of knots and hyperbolic structures. Weeks developed a practical computer algorithm for classical knots with hyperbolic complements using a method called "canonical cell decomposition." On the basis of this work, Weeks developed a general-purpose computer program called "SnapPea," which is widely used by mathematicians to explore geometrical problems. He has also written texts for young adults and nonspecialists designed to stimulate interest and skill in geometry. Weeks received an A.B. (1978) from Dartmouth College and an M.A. (1980) and a Ph.D. (1985) from Princeton University. For more on Jeffery Weeks please visit https://www.macfound.org/fellows/628/#sthash.SCM6t973.dpuf

About John McCleary, Professor of Mathematics, Vassar College

John McCleary is Professor of Mathematics on the Elizabeth Stillman Williams Chair at Vassar College. He received his Ph.D. from Temple University in mathematics with a thesis on algebraic topology under the direction of James Stasheff. He also has interests in the history of mathematics, particularly the history of geometry and of topology. He has published papers on elementary number theory and mathematical physics. For more on John McCleary visit https://math.vassar.edu/bios/mccleary.html


About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.

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