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Saltash Cross creator Simon Thomas teaches Penwith youngsters about foam bubbles and towers

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: October 10, 2013

By Josh Barrie

  • Cape Cornwall School taster day. Sculptor Simon Thomas works with pupils on a model tower

  • Pupils from St Just CP and St Mary's CE School with their sculpture.

  • Sennen School's years 5 and 6 with their creation

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CORNWALL's renowned sculptor Simon Thomas was on hand to give primary school pupils an in-depth look at foam bubbles and towers last month.

Cape Cornwall School in St Just welcomed the sculptor for a taster day on Wednesday afternoon, when children from Years 5 and 6 across west Penwith were given a snapshot of secondary education.

Mr Thomas, famous for designing the Saltash Cross to mark the boundary of Cornwall that was erected this year, talked about the links between mathematics, science and art and got the children making "exponential towers".

He said: "It was a great day – once we get them [pupils] started and give them the context they are so surprising.

"They always come up with stuff we just couldn't imagine. They get very excited."

The artist, who is heavily involved with the formulaic side of aesthetics, said the children were impressive.

"Kids love building things," he added. "What I'm trying to do is imbue them with some confidence and enthusiasm – but to also to inspire them to learn more about the subjects."

Mr Thomas has created a system to model the structure of foam bubbles as part of his creative pursuits and since then has written, lectured and taught in institutions about his works.

St Just's secondary school is the latest to benefit from Mr Thomas's insight into the world of molecules and bubbles.

Assistant head teacher Paul Kellas said the youngsters took to the next stage of their academic lives well and the day was rewarding for everyone.

"It was really great," he said.

"We had 155 pupils come in. It was good to see them get involved – they loved it and got really into it.

"There was lots of energy and it was nice to see them working well together and applying themselves."

Mr Kellas explained the students were first put into groups where they constructed small towers out of straws and nodes. In the afternoon everyone got together to make one giant tower and Mr Kellas compared the work to a very famous building.

"It was like the Eiffel Tower – you look and wonder how these things are possible. It was fantastic to see Simon Thomas come in."

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