Living the dream…

So as most people know by now, i SUCK at keeping the website up to date, it is not in my top 10 list of favorite things to do. But today was significant and I need to share.

When I started STEAMworks, i took part in the Downtown Startup competition and I was told that I did not advance to the finials because the judges though that the technical investment was going to be too much for the company to bear and that I need corporate sponsorship. Well here i am one year later and the most technical piece of equipment that I own on a laptop.

One of the core fundamentals of STEAM is problem solving and if I couldn’t figure out how to run a STEAM program without a heavy technology investment then I have no place running STEAMworks. In reality the biggest changes in our lives and all over the world today are a result of problem solving. There is a problem so someone sets out to fix it, usually without the advantage of high tech resources.

Today was pure joy for me because I got to see firsthand young problem solvers at work. The kids i worked with today were given three tasks. 1. Build a tower as tall as them using planks.

2. Build a cup structure but without touching the cups

3. Build a structure out of balloons.

I was pretty sure that the planks were going to be the favored activity, I could not have been more wrong. This morning a group of 3-8 year olds organized themselves, assigned tasks and worked together to build a balloon wall with balloons and tape. Then, this afternoon all of the girls that were at the program spent almost 2 hours using every means at their disposal to create cranes, tongs, clamps and anything else that they could think of to move the cups without touching them. There were some pretty interesting creations developed here. But more importantly there was problem solving going on, young minds seeing a challenge and then devising a way to overcome it, little girls, thinking, creating, developing, implementing and working together to generate solutions to a problem.

So, we DO NOT NEED high tech devices to implement STEAM programs. We need plastic solo cups, masking tape, balloons and children who want to work together and make things to solve problems.

December 2017

Well, it has been an interesting year so far.  I never imagined that I would start my own business and I surly never realized all of the challenges that comes along with it!  I have lost a lot this year. more than i ever imagined. but at the same time I have met so many people who want to work with me and support STEAMworks and I am truly overwhelmed by the generosity of the people that I have met on my journey this year.

So on that note…and I am a bit late in posting this, but STEAMworks ability Lab will be running a mini winter break camp December 27-December 29th.  Full Day and half day options will be available.  Program will run from 8 am to 4 pm with base of operations being Cornerstone Community Church located at 500 Plant St. I’m Utica.

STEAMworks will offer STEAM based activities in the morning where the kids will work together to create a project.  After Lunch we will travel to one of our partner programs where the kids will learn skills I am not able to teach at the STEAMworks main location.  We will be working with Fierce Foundations Fitness, The Jack and Mo cooking show, BB Designs and Reindance Stables.  For complete information and details on how to register follow this link: Winter Mini Camp.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to call me at 315-520-3887!

 

So much for a post 3 times a week!!!

So yeah that plan to blog several times a week just doesn’t seem to be working. Fall has been a bit discouraging but things seem to be looking up!

Sadly I had no one register for any of the programs offered in October or November which leaves me wondering if this business is really viable in Utica. My husband would like to see me take the programs elsewhere but I’m not ready to give up! SO PLEASE!!!!! If you are interested in this program send me ideas and suggestions!!! What classes would you like, where do you want to see them offered, when do you want to go to them?? STEAMworks is mobile!!! I can come to your community!!

On the good side though, I’ve made connections with many other organizations and will hopefully be working with others to promote and showcase more opportunities for learning in this region! I’ll be working with BB Designs in New Hartford, The Jack and Mo cooking show, Utica Youthbuild and other community businesses! Stay tuned!!!

For now though here are a few quick photos of projects in development!

Falling in

The Programs page has FINALLY been updated and I hope that I will be able to offer at least 4 activities per week Learners who are interested in these types of programs!  I have to say that I am really looking forward to the “Make it Glow” program where the Learners will be making wearable technology that will light up! Wrist band, loot bags (think Halloween) and even t-shirts.  If time allows we will even get into doing some light painting. If you are not familiar with this concept, check out this website: http://lightpaintingphotography.com/. I will be adding a few Saturday events, I am still trying to line up some volunteers to help me out with these types of activities, so stay tuned!  If you have any questions please let me know!

For those who were following me in my endeavors with the Downtown Startup competition, i need to say THANK YOU!!!! All of your encouragement really means a lot to me.  While I clearly did not win, I did finish in the final 7 out of the 90+ people who had applied.  I hope to get some more details on the judges notes this week, for now I have been told that they judges loved my idea and presentation, they do not think that I can do this on my own, that I need partners in this business. I know that I am going to need help, but I also know that im not going to sit around hoping that someone will like my idea and want to partner with me.  STEAMworks is going on ahead, i will just need to keep it small as i save up money to invest in the more technology driven STEAM programs id like to run.   First need in this area is laptops, so if anyone has any insight on scoring some used laptops, PLEASE let me know!

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Crazy…

There are so many things that i want to say today but have no clear way to organize the thoughts.  So many fragments of so many things. Please bare with me to the end! i don’t plan on using this website as my personal venting page or soap box, but sometime life is challenging and it has to be done.

FRAZZLED: As I have started to write this post I realize that I never published last weeks update on eh Creative Circuit program I ran. I am finding that wearing all of the hats needed to be a sole proprietor is challenging to say the least.  I want to be out there running the program, I hate the sitting at the computer and creating invoices, brochures, calendars and publishing, etc…To often I find it easy to look at Facebook or Instagram, but to use them as a tool and create meaningful posts just feels daunting.

HEARTBREAK: Today there was a new story about The Root Farms new ropes course, the first of its kind! While my separation from the Farm is not the result of any action by the Farm or myself i still acutely feel the loss of the place and people that I love. I am so proud of them and that Rodger kept his dream alive and has been able to see it come to fruition, but still struggle that I can share in the excitement.

OVERWHELMED: I am building a program for the New York State Fair.  I think that thought and i freeze like a deer in the headlights.  Me, I am building my own exhibit, for one of the largest State Fairs in the country, and i’m doing this by invitation.  Who am i to be doing this? I just cant get past that feeling, I’m no one significant, how did i accomplish this? Ive been in the news 3 times in the past 10 days, how have I managed this?

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JOY: Despite all of this self doubt and disbelief in my life, over the past 2 weeks I have experienced Joy too.  Pure Joy at seeing a boy learn about positive and negative in electrical circuits.  Understanding and creating paper switches and how he can use them to add mini LED lights to his drawings. I have seen a child who was once a violent kid, practice self regulation and calming himself down. I have watched the excitement of the boys when they have made their own “robots”. I have watched them learn to respect each other, stand up for each other and help each other.  I have watched as they have had the chance to be boys, typical boys like so many others their age but without the programed “sit still , pay attention, use your quiet voice, don’t do that” that is so much a part of their life.  They have run and played and rough housed, they have learned air hockey and fuse-ball and ping pong.  they are not good at any of them, but they laugh ALL THE TIME, all day long, and at the end of the day they are proud of themselves for what they have done and learned. Not all kids are given the chance to learn.  We may think that by putting them in a classroom and teaching a certain subject in a certain way that they are learning and if in the end they haven’t learned what was being taught, somehow it is the fault of the student, not the way it is being taught.  People are different, we eat different things, wear different clothes, have different hair colors, live in different ways, WHY DO WE INSIST THAT EVERYONE BE TAUGHT AND LEARN THE SAME WAY!?!

Ive had more boys from the Congo visit me this week to learn more about the harmonograph Charlotte.  Each time i see them i think to myself, they didn’t even have paper to use in school and look where they are now. These are the moments that I know that STEAMworks is going to make a difference. It will make a difference to everyone who wants to learn by doing, experiencing and experimenting, it invites creativity and curiosity, it teaches the learner about both success and failure, but most important it gives them the opportunity to TRY!