I participated in two days of CLE STEM in the City at two rec centers, Lonnie Burton & Michael J. Zone. This was a pilot project of “what could we do and how would it go over” between the City and NeoSTEM. We had 150 kids on day 1 and 100 on day two. We had learning experiences from :
All American Soap Box Derby
Center for Arts Inspired Learning
Cleveland Water Department
Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
Holden Forest & Gardens
Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
I didnt see what everyone had but I did see animal pelts and skulls, water meter to take apart, lily pad and pond aquatic ideas, mini soap box derby racer to experiment with weight distribution, STEM Olympics, scribble bots, build a cardboard chair, take apart station. I also heard some music creation and heard something about “radio on the lake” (radio theater).
I had 4 things for kids to do. One was building a geodesic dome from coffee stirrers and pipe cleaner pieces. Another was LED & battery, which I had hoped they would pair with the coloring station. The final one was binary bracelets, though they didnt seem interested in the binary part, so general bracelet making.
Only one family did the geodesic dome station, and it was mostly the parents building the parts (10 triangles and 6 pentagons). Though the ~5 year old did make a few of the triangles, til she got bored. So I changed it to building 3D shapes for day 2. Still, only 2 kids built a shape. On both days, a decent number played with LED’s & battery, but only a few people combined the LED station with the coloring station. Bracelets were the most active station, it always had people at it. I talked about the binary idea with a few kids (and parents).
There are so many STEM Maker projects to choose from. It is hard to choose which #STEM activity to do…what will they actually attempt, how much “learning” can you get in. The Michael J. Zone center has a great field that would be awesome for some pop bottle water rockets or trebuchets. I hope the City of Cleveland tries more of this, maybe even pushing to adult focused centers, maybe mixed aged with old & young together.
(It would also be a great event to use a Mobile Makerspace, especially a laser cutter for some quick self designed trinkets…)