The Sugar Plum Fairy is not the only thing to see at this year's The Nutcracker, put on by Tyler Junior College. New this year, a 3-dimensional collapsible Christmas tree. Engineering students and faculty at UT Tyler built the tree. On it, are 176 pairs of high brightness bulbs, like those used in traffic lights. During the show, the tree grows from eight feet to 141/2 feet. Engineer professors say it was a great learning experience for their students.
"It was going to be alot of work and I thought this would be a worth while project to get them involved and to see something concrete, something permanent as a result of their work," said David Beams, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at UT Tyler.
"Engineers are not typically the artistic type people, but they are able to bring the mechanics and electronics together and it's a nice merger of the two," said Jeffrey Mountain, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at UT Tyler. You can see the Christmas tree first hand in The Nutcracker. That's tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at Wise Auditorium, and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. There's a special, storytelling version for children, Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for children, seniors and TJC students.