Introduction: What is the hook, the attention grabber, the interesting beginning?
Begin with a discussion of what a heritage site is. Introduce students to Mount Rushmore as an American heritage site and discuss how the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, decided to carve the heads of the four Presidents. Show two pictures of Mount Rushmore: before and after carving. Help the students recognize that the change was brought about through the implementation of a human design and the use of geometry concepts to translate that design into the full-size sculpture. What we have as a result is a monumental sculpture that took a great amount of human and material resources. How do we make sure that we’re taking care of an important heritage site like Mount Rushmore when there are forces like deterioration and destruction at play? To illustrate deterioration, use provided sample photos of deteriorating structures. For destructions, use example of Bamiyan Buddhas that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2002. In order to come up with a plan to conserve a site, we would need to have an accurate record of it as our starting point. Use provided introductory videos to learn about digitally documenting heritage sites and the specific process used at Mount Rushmore. For more information, explore the CyArk website.
After completing the introduction activity, discuss the history of the carving of the Mountain, including the Hall of Records. One important benefit of having an accurate record of the mountain is knowing the exact shape of it so that you can keep track of whether that shape changes over time. Begin looking closer at the sculpture by using the provided Measurable 3D PDF of the model, or the 3D viewer on the CyArk website. In both the 3D PDF and online 3D Viewer, the teacher can cut sections through the model to better illustrate the presence of geometric shapes.
How do you keep track of changes within the mountain? You can create new 3D models of it over time by laser scanning it again and doing a new volume calculation. Introduce students to geometric formulas to calculate areas and volumes.
-Hands-on activity 1: As a simplified demonstration, use the 2D gridded drawing of the mountain sculpture and have the class split up the faces of the presidents into simpler geometric shapes, calculate their areas, then add all together to arrive at a rough estimate of the surface area of the presidents’ faces. Use a variety of geometric shapes to keep things interesting. Introduce students to the concept of scaled drawings/objects so they can arrive at a real-life size measurement. Use example of the sculptor’s scale model of the design versus the real mountain sculpture to reinforce concept of scaled shapes being similar. Mark up lengths, angles, and parallel lines on the 2D drawing or 3D measurable PDF, rotate the drawing/model to see that these characteristics remain the same.
-Hands-on activity 2: Use the provided before-and-after sectional illustration of the Hall of Records to see how partitioning a complex shape can get you a series of simple rectangular shapes, making it much easier to calculate the volume. From this point, use the architectural drawing of the Hall of Records to calculate volume by breaking up the space into a series of smaller, simpler geometric shapes.
Summary and Conclusion of Lesson: What helps set a course of action or leaves them thinking?
Summarize concepts covered through activities. Discuss the importance of scaled drawings and models as a way to keep accurate records of a structure/sculpture.
Theme Statement: (The "big picture," the final result, the "so what?!")
Why is documenting and understanding our heritage so important? For buildings/sculptures that are important to us, we can't take for granted that they'll be around forever. Based on the example of Bamiyan Buddhas, show other examples of important heritage sites deteriorating or suffering destruction.