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Glenn Marshall Elementary partners with EKU class to create mascot statue

Dr. Sgro and Glenn Marshall students unveil mascot. Photo by Cecilia Floyd

By Tinsley Carter, Register Correspondent

Glenn Marshall Elementary fifth-graders and Dr. Sergio Sgro’s Applied Engineering Management-Nonmetallic Materials Processing class at Eastern Kentucky University partnered this year to create a statue of the school mascot, The Mustang.

It was unveiled in a Friday afternoon ceremony. 

GME principal Abby White said the idea was proposed last year, and she asked Sgro if one of his classes could partner with the school to create the statue.

This year, GME art teacher Cecilia Floyd, science, technology, engineering and math teacher Sara Moore and White worked with Sgro to make the statue a reality. Sgro has two children who attend GME, one in fifth-grade and one in third. 

“During the first few weeks of the design process, Dr. Sgro and his students visited GME once a week to discuss ideas, possible materials, plans and the procedures needed to make each part of the statue,” Moore said. 

The fifth-graders worked with Floyd to create aluminum-foil models of the horses they had in mind as models. The students did some research and looked at multi-media and steel horse statues for inspiration, Moore said. 

“Dr. Sgro shared the general blueprint with me and I had each student add features to the blueprint,” Moore said. “Mrs. Floyd and I then took the students’ blueprints to EKU and discussed the next steps for the horse.”

The students were involved in the design process throughout the project

“Once the steel was cut, Dr. Sgro brought one of the cutouts for our students to view and discuss,” Moore said. 

As the horse was being built, Moore went to EKU to take pictures and share developments with her STEM students. 

“It took a while,” Sgro told students at the unveiling. “The design part is the most important. If you design something right, making it will be easier.”

He described to students the materials used to make the horse, concrete for the base, wood, metal, carbon fiber and ABS plastic. The black patch on the shoulder of the horse is made of carbon fiber.

“It’s extremely strong,” Sergio said of the statue. “It will outlast all of us.” 

The hooves, made of ABS plastic, were designed with a computer drawing program.

Sgro had some advice for the students who attended the unveiling. 

“Some of the best ideas ever have started out on a napkin,” he explained. “So if you have a good idea, write it on a napkin and keep it, and turn it into money later.” 

Many people from EKU and the community donated time and materials to create the statue. Dr. Tim Ross, chair of EKU’s Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, Dr. Bryan Dyer and Dr. Tony Lamanna, professors of construction management helped with the process. Robbie Robertson of Concrete Materials Corp. donated time and material for the statue’s base. 

“I am so proud of everyone’s collaboration and generosity in making the idea of the horse sculpture a reality,” White said. “Our students were able to participate in a learning experience that they will never forget.”

Photo caption: Eastern Kentucky University professor Sergio Sgro, far left, and students Steven Harkless, Bryan Jones, Clayton Salchli, Seth Gyr, Tony Jones, Matt Kimbler, Elliot Davis, Victor Aniemeka, Jordon Bussell and Erik Kemplin who constructed a statue of the Glenn Marshall Elementary School mascot, The Mustang, pose with their work after it was placed at the school Friday.

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Published on May 21, 2015

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