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Syracuse University

  • Syracuse University
  • Syracuse University Open Learning provides educational experiences that transcend the traditional constraints of time, location, and cost. Our mission is to broaden access to rigorous and innovative education on campus and around the world.

    The Subject is Lava


    Witness the spectacle and experimentation of The Syracuse University Lava Project, through this course, a collaboration between sculptor Bob Wysocki (Assistant professor, Department of Art) and geologist Jeff Karson (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences) at Syracuse University. Basaltic lava, similar to that found on the seafloor and erupted from volcanoes in Hawaii and Iceland, is melted and poured to produce natural-scale lava flows. The natural beauty and particular properties of the lava form the basis for sculpture projects.

    In this course, you’ll learn about:

    • How a sculptor and a geologist collaborated to demonstrate the effects of lava and teach about natural flows on land and under water
    • Lava basics: What is it? Where is it? Why is it? Why does it behave as it does? How has it (and does volcanic action) affected the Earth and its inhabitants
    • The imagination that makes it possible to recreate this mysterious and powerful substance, and how it can be used to make bold, innovative art

    The course is inspired by the groundbreaking work of the Syracuse Lava Project, which brings scientific experiments, artistic creation, and educational outreach to Syracuse and the world.


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