By LCE Principal, Emily Blaney
A School Maker Faire is a mini version of a Maker Faire, which is part Science Fair and part something completely different! On Saturday, April 15, the LCUSD School Maker Faire, held at La Cañada Elementary, was a gathering of individuals and teams interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Dedicated “makers” came to the School Maker Faire to showcase what they’ve made and to share what they’ve learned. Everyone else came to get some great ideas and to experience making, too! This event was free and a great way for all ages to spend a Saturday. Our district wanted to kickstart the Maker Movement by:
- showcasing the making already taking place on our campuses
- connecting with larger creativity, innovation, STEAM, and art initiatives
- cultivating awareness of the Maker movement
Watch this video to learn more about the global Maker Movement.
LCUSD Science Coordinator, Amy Nespor, spearheaded the event. According to Nespor, “It was part showcase and part making. There were 44 different activities to choose from that ranged in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Student volunteers from CSJF and Boy Scouts helped at most of the stations, which helped make the event a success. There were over 300 people in attendance!”
Students from all LCUSD schools were represented at the Faire. The Engineering Club and Science Olympiad teams participated from LCHS, and individuals as well as groups represented La Cañada Elementary, Palm Crest Elementary, and Paradise Canyon Elementary. Highlights of student projects included how to build a rolly polly terrarium, a tennis ball catapult, a lego robotics club creation, a 1st grader’s homemade musical instrument, plus many more fascinating projects. Makers had the opportunity to explore the Faire, as well. They got to visit the many community makers who joined in that day, including YMCA of the Foothills, who brought a drone and quadcopters, reDiscover Center of Pasadena, who shared a tinkering activity, Cal Tech ID Tech Camp, who shared a light up LED project that participants could make and take home, and JPL, who brought their Mars Rollover and a solar telescope for all to explore.
An LCE STEAM class showed off their Crayon Donation Boxes. Each box, created with LittleBits, utilized electrical energy in the form of sound, light, or movement as used crayons were deposited.
There were hands-on making stations, as well. Participants had the chance to make soap, magnetic slime, stomp rockets, and sundials. They also got the chance to work with experts Kay Bahrami (LCE Librarian) and Deborah Pruden (LCE 3rd grade teacher) to learn about quilting and how to sew a quilted coaster. There were also plenty of opportunities for participants to explore some fun tools, like K’NEX, Snap Circuits, and CircuitScribe, which is conductive ink that allows users to draw electrical circuits.
The future looks bright when it comes to upcoming School Maker Faires. The level of talent in our community is commendable. I anticipate increased participation, and I am confident that all who visited on April 15 are also looking forward next year’s Faire and are imaging the contributions they can make in 2018.