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Taping Shape, a fascinating new exhibition opening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

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. Opening on January 30, 2016, in the Fleet's Rotunda and Discovery Galleries.

January 12, 2016

Taping Shape engineer and designer Dave Ghilarducci

Taping Shape engineer and designer Dave Ghilarducci
San DiegoThe Reuben H. Fleet Science Center collaborates with local artist and engineer Dave Ghilarducci and the San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) to create Taping Shape, an innovative and fascinating new exhibition that takes over two of the Fleet's upstairs galleries.

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. Explorers will find themselves suspended above the ground in the weaving tunnels and opaque rooms of Taping Shape. 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. The translucent nature of the packing tape creates an otherworldly effect on the light coming into the structure.

Taping Shape is part art installation, part marvel of science. The inside of the exhibition will feature "rooms" where visitors can ponder the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) of Taping Shape. 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 strand of packing tape has a tensile strength of more than 35 pounds per inch width.

The ethereal beauty and creativity of the structure will fascinate anyone's inner artist. Taping Shape will be as intriguing to experience from the outside looking in as it is to move inside of it.

Visitors can delve into the bilingual interpretive area of the exhibition to learn how mathematics inspired the physical nature of the structure and what makes it so strong.

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 topographic structure of Taping Shape, and also the adjacent programming for the exhibition.

"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 guests to explore this new structure with us."

"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. "To be able to work with the team here was a tremendous honor."
Taping Shape will spark wonder and excitement surrounding the unusual and unexpected use of materials and forms. The bilingual exhibition will be open from January 30 to June 12, 2016, in the Fleet Rotunda and Discovery galleries. The exhibition is included with the cost of Fleet admission. And in case you're wondering what happens to all of that tape at the end of the exhibition's run ... it's recyclable! 

This exhibition 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.

Partial funding for Taping Shape was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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

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Help Install Taping Shape

The Fleet is inviting the public to participate in the installation of Taping Shape. Organizations such as Gay For Good, the UCH Key Club and a volunteer group of staffers from Intel have pledged to help Taping Shape take shape by adding layers of tape that will give the structure strength after our exhibition engineers create the basic foundation. Groups or individuals interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Ashanti Davis at ADavis@rhfleet.org or call 619-238-1233 ext. 824.

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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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Celebration of San Diego Science!
You and a guest are invited to a Celebration of San Diego Science! Join us for the premiere party of four new exhibitions at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, including Taping Shape. The upcoming exhibition showcase the science that San Diego innovators are using to create a better future.
Members of the media are invited to join us for the premiere party on Thursday, January 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring refreshing beverages, science fun, delicious bites and interactive science activities.
If you and a guest would like to attend the Celebration of San Diego Science party, please RSVP on the link below. Space is limited. RSVP by January 21, 2015.
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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.