STEAM Cycle is a permanent interactive sculpture commissioned by the Asheville Art Museum. It was designed and fabricated by STEAM Studio Design Specialist, Chas Llewellyn and Director of STEAM Studio, Sara Sanders. It was made from Steel, White Oak, MDF, Vinyl, Acrylic, LEDs.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math are the cornerstones of UNC Asheville’s STEAM Studio. STEAM Cycle is the result of the intersections and interplay of these disciplines and explores the relationship between potential and kinetic energy and the work required to lift something up to its full state of potential. Sanders and Llewellyn worked with 4 students from STEAM Studio’s SkillSet program in the design and development stage of the project (Andie Jones, Dazya Dean, Harper Levinger and Mahri Peterson)

The bottom pan is sloped to passively feed rogue balls back to the manually controlled elevator. Tracks and track components were designed for 1” steel balls. Two sections of track use plastic clips to electrically isolate the two track rails. When the ball is on the track it acts as an electrical switch and flashes on led strips in a rainbow sequence. The final section of track was made from white oak that came from UNC Asheville’s campus meant to reference the iconic Blue Ridge Mountains.