SOUTH CANAAN, PA – After nearly a century, Wayne County’s glass making heritage will come back to life as professors and glass artists from Keystone College demonstrate hot glass blowing for students at the Western Wayne High School on Friday, November 4th. Members of the community are invited to attend free demonstrations on Saturday, November 5th from 9 am to 3 pm. Teachers and administrators from regional schools are encouraged to attend the public demonstrations to learn how they can bring this STEAM program to their schools. Several school clubs will sell refreshments during the public demonstrations.
Sponsored by the Dorflinger Glass Museum and Keystone College, this mobile glass studio, the only one of its kind in the region, will be operated by Keystone faculty member James Harmon. Harmon is an internationally recognized glass-making artist and combustion engineering expert. He designed the studio, saying about it, “I want to reach everybody to teach about the magic of glass.”
Western Wayne science teacher Mark Nebzydoski is extremely excited to have the studio on the school campus. He has been involved in the project from the beginning, working with Harmon and Keystone faculty to prepare a curriculum for the studio. Glass artists will use the fully equipped mobile glass studio to demonstrate glass making techniques to teach chemistry and physics principles to students, providing them with a unique opportunity to experience glass making. Mark said, “This is a really cool way to engage our kids with science.”
Nebzydoski first threw out the idea of having glass making demonstrations during a meeting with Dorflinger Glass Museum curator Hank Loftus. The museum wanted to partner with the district to create an educational program under Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.
Loftus said, “What may have started as a pipe dream quickly became a reality with the help of Keystone’s Director of Grants Liz Ratchford and Ward Roe, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. The college wanted to build a mobile unit for a while but things just hadn’t worked out. In this case, the planets aligned and, with help and support from a lot of people, we were able to make it happen. We really can’t wait to get this out on the road to high schools!”
Currently, 12 school districts have agreed to participate in the mobile glass program: Wayne Highlands, Western Wayne, Wallenpaupack, Scranton, Lackawanna Trail, Blue Ridge, Carbondale, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View, Abington Heights and Tunkhannock Area. Plans call for the studio to be taken to school districts for hot-glass learning events.
Funding for the project comes from funds donated to Dorflinger by corporations under the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development EITC program. The companies get tax credits for donations that support innovative educational programs such as the glass studio. Loftus said the following local banks have made generous donations over several years: Dime Bank, Wayne Bank and Honesdale National Bank.
“We expect this will be a unique learning experience for local students in a variety of ways,” said Keystone Art Professor Ward Roe, who has been involved in project’s organization. “The process of making glass not only involves great artistry but important scientific principles.”
Roe continued, “This has truly been a community effort. We thank our partners from Dorflinger, Harbison-Walker International, Nivert Metal Supply, Inc., Sherwood Chevrolet, and all the local companies and businesses that have come together to make this a truly great project.”
The Dorflinger Glass Museum is located in the former home of renowned glassmaker Christian Dorflinger in White Mills, PA. Set in the middle of the 600-acre Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, the museum exhibits the largest collection of Dorflinger glass in the United States. During the summer, the Sanctuary is home to the Wildflower Music Festival, a series of outdoor concerts held on Saturday evenings through July and part of August. The museum also owns several historic buildings in the community that help to tell the story of glass making in Historic White Mills.
Keystone College is well known for preparing fine arts students for specialized careers in the field of glass making. The College’s on-campus glass studio, featuring all the equipment and technology needed to produce fine works in the artistic medium of glass, is regarded as the best in the region. As a private, non-profit co-educational institution of higher education, Keystone is devoted to providing students and the region with exceptional humanities programs and real world experience. The College serves nearly 1,600 students, offering more than 40 degree options in liberal arts and sciences based programs.
Western Wayne’s administration has been supportive of the project from the start. As the lead Pennsylvania school, they will be the first to host the glass studio. Mark Nebzydoski’s involvement and enthusiasm for the project has been crucial. The demonstrations are in keeping with the mission of the Western Wayne School District in alliance with family and community to educate each student to be an adaptable, life-long learner and a responsible citizen of a global society.
The Western Wayne High School is located along Route 296 in South Canaan, PA between Waymart and Lake Ariel. For GPS directions, use 1970A Easton Turnpike, Lake Ariel, PA 18436. For additional information about the program, call Hank Loftus at the Dorflinger Glass Museum at 570-253-1185. For information about the organizations: ww3.westernwayne.org
www.keystone.edu or www.dorflinger.org
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