STEAM WORKS 2016

By Lori Ann Doyon with Kate Yourke

“Students are hungry for information, but schools often stall their curiosity to focus on skills that students do not value. To see so many kids engaged in learning, on their free time, it shows the excitement that could be part of every student’s experience of school.”

-Kate Yourke, organizer of STEAM WORKS

Computer game booth with fruit and vegetables as the game controller. Up, down, left, right touch the correct cucumber. L to R are Katya and Maya Naphtali sit by to instruct interested gamers on using the Makey Makey, an invention kit from the people who developed the Scratch block-programming language. The Makey Makey uses high-resistance switching to allow everyday objects like fruit, skin, or play-doh to trigger signals that the computer understands as keyboard commands. Their father, Hans Tammen, sat at the next table the Little Bits Synth Kit to explain the fundamentals of electronic music
Ken Butler is an artist and musician who transforms common and uncommon objects into musical instruments- a pencil becomes a violin, a toothbrush becomes a string and percussion instrument; plus shovel and tennis racket guitars and many, many more. Ken Butler offered activities that describe the Science of Sound, and performed with his instruments, making beautiful music to inform and entertain the crowd.

STEAM WORKS took up residence once again on a June Saturday at Automotive High School on Bedford Avenue. This yearly mind expanding festival is helmed by Kate Yourke, the Assistant Director of Creative Arts at The Lang School, and founder and President of Make: STEAM, Inc. STEAM WORKS encapsulates the mission of Make STEAM, which is to increase creativity and ingenuity for students of all abilities through hands-on projects integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Inside the school there were workshops on light and sound via Technical Artisans Collective, demonstrations of the Bernoulli Effect with ping-pong ball cannons from The Lang School, and pom-pom catapults and hovercraft rides with Make: STEAM. Outside there were dramatic demonstrations on electricity and physics with Vinny Voltage, making a telescope with magnifying lenses via BEAM Center, geometric construction with Tetteh Tawiah, vintage technology from the Museum of Interesting Things, Build Sculpture and Automata with Gerb-O-Matic, Robotics with Metal Motion Robotics, musical instruments fashioned out of imagination, technique, and household items; extracting a strawberry’s DNA with Art in the Lab; printmaking with the Dell Family, hands-on science with the Physics Bus, and more.

“Students are hungry for information, but schools often stall their curiosity to focus on skills that students do not value. To see so many kids engaged in learning, on their free time, it shows the excitement that could be part of every student’s experience of school,” said Kate Yourke, organizer of STEAM WORKS! Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso provided support for this fair of multi-fascination.

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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