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Tryon Elementary

Art, science blend in prism mobiles installed at Tryon Elementary

A pair of Tryon Elementary students spent part of May 9 helping “Mr. Skip” Williams install two Lead Crystal Prism Mobiles outside the entrance doors to the school’s cafeteria.

Braedyn Davis and Memphis Hannon helped Williams, a local artist who crafts mobiles from his studio on White Oak Mountain. Williams and his wife Reva are in the Lunch Buddy program at Tryon Elementary.

Each of the Crystal Mobiles has seven lead crystal prisms with hundreds of facets that reflect and refract light into the color spectrum. Braden said that he really likes the mobile called Thirty Degrees; he explained to other third graders that name comes from the 30-degree angle of the four free-swinging support arms.

The Crystal Mobiles are engaging to the eye, and students in the cafeteria enjoy watching them as they eat. But the real benefit of the art is its direct application to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The mobiles display STEM principles such as fulcrum points, levers, symmetry and balance.

Principal Todd Murphy and many of the teachers agreed, as they viewed the two mobiles swinging in the breeze and casting glints of color, that this small installation was a nice addition to the school and STEM lessons can be enhanced by the mobiles.

Examples of Williams’ work can be seen at

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