Hello!

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Welcome to STEAMworks Ability Lab, a FULLY INCLUSIVE place where everyone is welcome to be curious, to be imaginative, to learn, to explore and to create! STEAMworks believes that no one should be excluded from participating in STEAM activities.   To achieve this STEAMworks strives to work with organizations to bring STEAM learning to children living in the inner cities, rural communities and to children with disabilities.  STEAMworks programs are all mobile, we bring the programs to the learners.

Just as there is no limit to learning, there is also no limit to how we teach and we will do our best to adapt programs to meet each learners needs. STEAMworks will be offering a variety of programs and activities ranging from science and technology programs to fitness and art. I will always be open to suggestions and as STEAMworks grows programs will be offered for all ages and interests!

  • STEAMworks Ability Lab was born out of a passion for fostering inclusion, allowing everyone to participate in the community they live in, and a desire to provide a place where all individuals are supported and encouraged to explore their own imaginations and  creativity.  STEAMworks will offer fun educational programs open to everyone and will incorporate adaptive design to ensure access for all.
  • STEAMworks goal is to offer STEAM based programs outside of the traditional classroom models.  Learners will be allowed the freedom to tinker and experiment with their projects encouraging critical thinking and problem solving skills while also developing friendships by working on team projects.
  • As STEAMworks learners develop skills and grow into Makers, STEAMworks will also grow and expand to provide Makerspace resources to those who are ready to start to make things on their own.  We will develop partnerships with other community programs, like the MVCC FABLab, (http://www.mvcc.edu/fablab)  to offer our Learners and Makers technological resources we are not able to provide like 3d Printers and laser cutting.
  • STEAMworks will also work diligently to foster and encourage full inclusion for all members of the community. We will do this by providing accommodations to ensure everyone is able to participate in our programs, creating adaptive tools and devices to foster inclusion in the community and offering workshops to help educate the greater community about disability, culture, and inclusion.

 

Please consider supporting STEAMworks Ability Lab by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign!  Every penny will help us to purchase supplies and equipment for all programs that we offer!

GoFundMe

 

S.T.E.A.M.

2017-08-07 17.58.00What is STEAM education and why do we need it?

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.   STEAM is an integrated approach to learning that encourages students to think more broadly about real-world problems.  STEAM strives to foster student exploration, collaborative learning and to develop critical thinking skills.  The resulting learners are a diverse group of innovators who are creative, problem solvers, risk takers, and collaborators. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!

STEAM education is hands on and experiential, students do more than just learn the theory behind how things work, they get their hands dirty and make things work.  Learners are encouraged to play, tinker, explore and examine throughout the learning process.  Learners will come to understand that all of the concepts of STEAM education are linked.  You can not have science without math, math without the arts, art without technology or technology without engineering.

STEAM education is not just for kids.  People of all ages can learn to: question like a scientist, design like a technologist, build like an engineer, create like an artist, deduce like a mathematician, and play like a kid!  There is something deep inside of all of us, the need to experiment, to explore, to learn and to develop a better understanding of the world we live in and to make it a better place.

 

STEAMworks on the Road

While STEAMworks is based in Utica, NY all of the programs offered and designed to go on the road.  We work with school groups, Scout troops, libraries, community organizations and local Parks and Rec departments to bring STEAM education to you.  If you are interested in booking STEAMworks for a private event, for camps or summertime rec programs please use the form below to contact us and we can meet to discuss your needs.

Harmonographs

STEAMworks Ability lab has 2 harmonographs that I use to teach people a bit about STEAM education. You see I do not believe that STEAM is ONLY about tech stuff like 3d printers and drones. There are elements of STEAM in everything, not just new technology.

So what is a harmonograph? According to Wikipedia: A harmonograph is a mechanical apparatus that employs pendulums to create a geometric image. The drawings created typically are Lissajous curves, or related drawings of greater complexity. The devices, which began to appear in the mid-19th century and peaked in popularity in the 1890s, cannot be conclusively attributed to a single person, although Hugh Blackburn, a professor of mathematics at the University of Glasgow, is commonly believed to be the official inventor. Check out our gallery of harmonograph drawings here:

Harmonograph gallery

The technical jargon in this definition does not give a person a good visual idea of what one is, so I’ve attached a video here:

Charlotte

Why does STEAMworks use harmonographs? Bottom line: They are just super cool! Nothing gets a persons interest in whatever is going on without being super cool! They are awesome to teach people a bit about physics, technology, art, math and engineering. They get to physically see how all of the factors of STEAM combine to make something awesome.

STEAMworks has two harmonographs, a 3 pendulum rotary harmonograph and a hybrid 2 pendulum lateral harmonograph. To make it easy I call them Charlotte and Wilbur respectively. I built Charlotte as a project to display at the New York State Fair. The first time I tested it in public i realized that there was a major design flaw, if a person is shorted than 48” or uses a wheelchair then they cant use Charlotte to create theses really cool designs. So I built Wilbur. Wilbur is shorter, but the pendulums are built externally of the table so it takes up a lot more room. But it is a great tool to use to show kids what is happening and teach them about the science that is happening.

STEAMworks has been using the harmonographs to introduce the concepts of STEAM education all around the CNY region.  They have gone to the state fair, local community events and will soon travel to the Utica Children’s museum.  A 4 pendulum harmonograph that will draw large images is currently being designed soon, look for it in the spring! Many people have asked for a workshop to build a harmonograph and this is something that I am currently exploring.  If you are interested in building your own or would like more information about the STEAMworks harmonographs please contact me using the form below!

STEAMworks Calendar of Events