The Intersection of Nature, Technology, Arts, and Math

Join Margaret Wertheim, noted TED speaker, professor, and science writer, to learn about the Crochet Coral Reef project and how it’s using hyperbolic geometry and fiber arts to increase awareness of our oceans’ ecosystems.

Due to impending inclement weather, the workshop with Visiting Innovator Margaret Wertheim originally scheduled for Monday, February 15 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. has been rescheduled for Sunday, February 14 from 3-6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend, even if you have not previously registered.

A professor, science writer, and director of the Institute for Figuring and the Crochet Coral Reef project, Dr. Margaret Wertheim is a believer in beauty that intersects nature, technology, arts, and math. Dr. Wertheim has built an international following dedicated to advancing scientific concepts through hands-on, embodied practices such as crochet and paper folding. Her TED talk, “The Beautiful Math of Coral,” has 1.2 million views.

At the Bryan Innovation Lab, Wertheim will engage audiences with building The Steward School Satellite Reef. This is part of the Crochet Coral Reef project, a citizen science project that is increasing awareness of distressed coral reefs around the world. These reefs are an essential part of our ecosystem, but are disappearing as environmental and human impacts threaten their survivability. Through this project, people from all backgrounds and educational experiences can be a part of recreating what nature has been doing for thousands of years, while also enjoying a fiber arts craft and learning from hyperbolic geometry.

Wertheim will lead workshops and discussions that are free and open to the public on the afternoon of February 14 as well as the afternoon and evening of February 16. During the school day on February 16, she will also spend the day with Steward students in classrooms and in its Bryan Innovation Lab.

This program is made possible through grants from The Robins Foundation, E. E. Ford Foundation, and Luck Companies Foundation.

Sunday, February 14: Bryan Innovation Lab

  • 3-6 p.m.—Margaret Wertheim introduces the Reef project, discusses hyperbolic geometry and its manifestations in the marine world, and teaches the techniques of hyperbolic crochet.

Tuesday, February 16: Bryan Innovation Lab

  • 3:15-6 p.m.—Fiber Arts & Science Fair: hands-on activities, demos, exhibit of crochet coral reef, and complimentary refreshments. Guest exhibitors will include Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VCU Rice Center, James River Association, VCUarts Department of Fashion, and University of Richmond knitting club.
  • 6 p.m.—Lecture and Discussion (Children’s activities offered during this program.)

Visiting Innovator Margaret Wertheim Registration

Number of Attendees
Registrant 1
Number of Child Attendees

How to Crochet a Coral

Click here to download instructions on how to crochet a coral.






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