A creative collaboration between The Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) and the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission has given rise to a captivating addition to the annual Holiday Lights on the River spectacle at Saluda Shoals Park. The featured display for 2023 is a three-dimensional carousel scene, depicting whimsical elves riding reindeer and polar bears. In a first installation, three animated panels adorn the area outside the dog park, with plans underway to expand the display to a full carousel in-the-round with eight panels.
Engaging students from diverse programs at The Center, including Electrical Technology, Digital Art & Design, Welding Technology, and Biosystems Engineering, the collaborative effort aimed to conceptualize, design, fabricate, and illuminate the enchanting display.
Rae Bundrick, a Digital Art and Design student from Spring Hill High, took the lead as the display’s chief designer, while Jonah Bickley from Chapin High served as the project’s lead electrician and welder. Bundrick shared, “Saluda Shoals expressed their desire for an animated light display that was magical and festive. By combining those elements, I created a carousel design featuring elves riding polar bears and reindeer.”
The welding program took charge of fabricating the metal frame once the design was finalized, and the electricity and lighting team collaborated with the digital art and design class to bring the display to life with a captivating array of lights.
Bickley, reflecting on the challenging yet rewarding process, said, “Connecting all the lights and seeing the project come to life is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. It’s really neat to share my work with the community and collaborate with students in other programs.”
Beyond crafting the display, students from The Center joined Saluda Shoals staff on November 1, 2023, for a decoration day, installing ground lighting around the displays. This marks the third consecutive year of collaboration between District Five and Saluda Shoals, showcasing the students’ previous creations, including dinosaurs, a erupting volcano, and a UFO scene.
The dedicated teams involved in the project included students from various programs such as Digital Art & Design, Welding Technology, and Biosystems Engineering. Their collective effort underscored the spirit of collaboration across disciplines.
Assistant Director for The Center, Roy Frick, expressed his admiration, saying, “It was truly inspirational seeing the hard work that teachers and students put into this project. Watching the collaboration between multiple programs at The Center come together for one common goal is what it’s all about.”
The completed carousel display, along with more than 400 other animated exhibits, will be featured from November 23, 2023, until December 31, 2023, as part of the Holiday Lights on the River event at Saluda Shoals Park. For additional information, visit [link]. The Center for Advanced Technical Studies in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties continues to provide career-focused, high-tech academic programs, preparing students to be college and career-ready upon graduation.