The buzz about Marymount of Santa Barbara’s Maker Fair had clearly spread as several hundred excited children ranging in age from preschool to middle school descended on Marymount’s Riviera campus on Sunday, October 18th 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.
Jannine Tuttle, Marymount science teacher and event organizer, described Marymount’s fair, “Unlike traditional school fairs, Maker Fairs are specifically designed to celebrate the arts, engineering, science, tinkering, and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. 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 doing things like 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 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) 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 Marymount science teacher 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.”