Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 12:33 am | Fair 60º

 
 
 
 
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Marymount Maker Fair Promotes Discovery and Fun in STEAM Fields

A green-screen photo booth was just one of the many activities for kids to explore at the Marymount Maker Fair. Click to view larger
A green-screen photo booth was just one of the many activities for kids to explore at the Marymount Maker Fair. (Marymount photo)

The buzz about Marymount School of Santa Barbara’s Maker Fair clearly spread far and wide, because several hundred excited children ranging in age from preschool to middle school descended on Marymount’s Riviera campus Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, to discover the fun that could be had while learning.

Sundays are typically busy days in Santa Barbara with soccer games and fall commitments, but families from all over Santa Barbara made it to Marymount’s campus, proving Marymount’s Maker Fair a not-to-miss event.

“Unlike traditional school fairs, maker fairs are specifically designed to celebrate the arts, engineering, science, tinkering and the DIY mindset," said Marymount science teacher and event organizer, Jannine Tuttle. "Many of the activities are built by (Marymount’s) middle school students, (and) required them to adopt the creative innovator mindset first hand.” 

Visitors to this year’s Maker Fair went from activity to activity making jack o’ lanterns on a 3-D printer, extracting DNA, dueling with robots and designing airplanes.

Students from Dos Pueblos’ Engineering Academy helped visitors at a MaKey MaKey station. A team of UCSB students from the Materials Research Lab and the Mechanical Engineering Department worked with visitors to enhance both the fun and learning at each station.

Marymount’s own team of energetic teachers had their sleeves rolled up and helped each visitor, regardless of age or previous experience, have a great time while learning.

In all, there were close to 30 stations manned by parent volunteers and dedicated teachers to delight visitors at Marymount’s Maker Fair, each activity station intentionally and thoughtfully designed to be fun, but also to teach and demonstrate STEAM principles.

On display at the Fair and drawing a buzz of its own were renderings of Marymount’s soon to be completed Creative Design and Engineering Center, a student center which Tuttle describes as “a space that encourages innovation and builds knowledge, a constructivist learning space where students can learn by doing, experimenting, tinkering and playing with materials until they figure out how things work.

"Very importantly, the space will be used by Marymount teachers across the curriculum; science, of course, but also art, technology, math, English, history, music and drama, all of these areas of learning will be enhanced and overlap in the new center,” she said.

Held in the fall, Marymount’s Maker Fair event continues to grow and gain momentum, drawing families and STEAM professionals from all around Santa Barbara interested in having fun and enhancing children’s learning.

— Molly Seguel is the director of admission at Marymount School of Santa Barbara.

 

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