“It’s Amazing. My kiddo has been talking about it since the last time we brought him TWO YEARS ago!” Kim Gabriel told Kate Yourke (the Assistant Director of Creative Arts at The Lang School, and founder and President of Make: STEAM, Inc., who organizes this annual festival of curiosity.
Constructing knowledge and enriching meaning through hands-on exploration and discovery is the mission of STEAM WORKS, which takes place at the Automotive High School on a Saturday in late spring for the last three years. This brainchild of Kate Yourke strives to stimulate creativity and ingenuity through hands-on projects that integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
“Kids express such joy when their curiosity is allowed to lead! At school their exuberance is held in check as they try to meet expectations, so their learning rarely sparks enthusiasm. STEAM WORKS gives them the opportunity to express the excitement of discovery, to bond their understanding with joy!” explained Yourke.
MakerSpace was one of the newcomers to STEAM WORKS this year. They brought their STEAM Wagon, and their demonstration featured a laser cutter to give festival goers the opportunity to make a wind-up helicopter out of made out of cut paper. Cambria McMillan-Zapf came up from Virginia to guide those in the Color Lab on how to play with polarization. The Stitch Lab was designed and run by students from Edward R. Murrow High School and led by 10th grader Sadie Read. They assisted young and old in making beautiful tote bags and chokers. Popular favorites at past STEAM WORKS reappeared such as: The Museum of Interesting Things, artist and musician Ken Butler, and Gerb-o-matic were also on hand for hands-on discoveries. Next year Make: STEAM plans to facilitate student-led initiatives to support Sewing, Electronics, Robotics, Musical Instruments, etc.