What did you do for your passion project, and why? Ever since I can remember the ocean has mesmerized me. The wildly biodiverse ecosystems that lay underneath the surface left me in awe, and when I learned about the effects climate change and specifically carbon emissions had on the ocean; my passion not only grew, but I realized that it was up to me to help be the change in our world. For my passion project, I learned to crochet coral reefs in order to raise awareness about coral bleaching and ocean acidification. Algae is what gives coral color and nourishes the skeleton in order for it to grow. But when ocean temperature levels rise, these algae get stressed to the point of dying. This is a naturally occurring process, but because of the abundant amount of carbon emissions being absorbed by the ocean's surface, this process is sped up. Coral is dying at an alarming rate and it is up to people around the world to help raise awareness to this pressing issue. In order to replicate the intricate hyperbolic geometry seen in coral a professor at Cornell discovered, and when crocheted these planes begin to look like coral. So artists around the world have come together to create exhibits for civilians to understand what is happening in our oceans. So for my specific project, I followed in my mom's footsteps to learn and create my very own art pieces. During this process, I learned that crochet is a lot harder than it is cut out to be and I spent my time working on the simple planes found in reefs.
What will you do with this project next? The next steps of my passion project are figuring out how to crochet other cool figures and also jellyfish, and then bringing it to a local museum to be on display or selling them on Etsy to hopefully gain money to donate to ocean conservation organizations around the world. AGain the purpose of my project was to raise awareness to this pressing issue happening around the world, and I do not feel like I have accomplished this quite yet. Because I did not, unfortunately, get the amount of variation of coral that I wanted, I think my goal is still something I need to strive to achieve. I have already made three of these larger planes of hyperbolic crochet, but I would love to create more challenging pieces of work so that the beauty of coral reefs can be captured through my work. My next action step or S.M.A.R.T goal will be to have planned out what my coral frame will look like and what coral I will need to learn how to crochet. I would like to do this by interviewing my mom who knows a lot about the movement, to see what I need to do in order to be successful. Then I need to decide where I want my artwork to go. Is this a museum piece? Or should I sell these in order to raise some money for ocean conservation organizations around the world?
How did this project change the way you think about a particular issue? This project helped me understand the beauty of the structural integrity of coral reefs around the world. Throughout the process of learning about how coral has formed and the uniqueness of the structure, I found a new love and interest for the biological side of how coral lives. Now more than ever my passion is at the highest point and I am completely sure I will be continuing this project for years to come. Crocheting the coral made this information solidify in my brain and having something to actually hold made me understand the information being presented to me through the resources I used to learn about the hyperbolic geometry. I appreciate the movement being set forth by avid crocheters around the world as well and I am very excited to work with them in order to bring new understanding and perspective to an already deep issue. This project has made me think hard about the solutions that should start to be taken into consideration on what we should do. This is the next step and I think we are well on the track to getting some leeway in order to combat coral bleaching and ocean acidification.
S.M.A.R.T Goals and Daily End of Class Reflection:
Progress on first Hyperbolic plane!
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