STEAM at The Pier

01_2016-03-12 14.19.50_crop_lr

The 3rd Annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest and celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (aka “S.T.E.A.M.”) took place at the Santa Monica Pier today. We wanted to make an unconventional visit to the Pier so we decided to check out this event.

There was the expected school competition for the best Rube Goldberg machine. This year’s face off involved 12 teams arriving at an innovative way to open an umbrella in 20 steps using every day household items.

02_2016-03-12 14.09.31_lr

We participated in some innovative activities ourselves. Trash 4 Teaching, the organization who recycles local manufacturers’ throwaways into inexpensive tools to support STEAM education, encouraged us to make recycled-machines made out of trash (old paper tubes, old golf balls, used Ace bandages, even the old Belly Bandit that newly indoctrinated Westside moms frequently purchase new for $75+). What a great way to foster our kids’ learning of gravity and recycling through imaginative play.

03_2016-03-12 15.16.41crop_lr

I was excited to finally get a chance to get a closer look at the portable 3-D printer that the Barnes and Nobles booth was demonstrating. Did I mention that I wanted to take it home?

04_2016-03-12 14.13.29crop_lr

The kiddies enjoyed visiting the Columbia Space Center booth, which offered a hands-on experience with magnets and an arts-and-crafts activity of making stomp rockets out of every day household items.

05_2016-03-12 14.53.05crop_lr06_2016-03-12 14.54.31_lr

We briefly sat and listened to a panel of innovators (Diana Skaar, Head of Business Innovation for X, Kristina Kipp from JPL’s Mars Rover, LA Robotics award recipient, Cynthia Erenas) hosted by The Tomorrow Show’s Gray Bright, then checked out this repurposed gas-to-electric VW Bug, locally known as Volts Wattson.

07_2016-03-12 14.58.08_lr

Check out this cool automatic drawing robot! Kid Magnet, for sure!

08_2016-03-12 14.47.51crop_lr

We skipped the bicycle-powered ice cream booth, as well as a chance to pilot an underwater ROV mini-submarine underneath the Pier at Heal The Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, as the kiddies were getting tired. As fate would have it, our early departure gave us the opportunity to see the biggest fan and benefactor of innovation. I just wished he had time to tell us whether he updated his grappling hook with the latest and greatest materials science has to offer. If only Lucius Fox were here.

09_2016-03-12 15.25.21_lr

———-

Steam Machines
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
http://santamonicapier.org/steam/

© Copyright 2012-2016 by Deborah Kuzma, californianativegirl.com and californianativeblog.wordpress.com. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah Kuzma, californianativegirl.com and californianativeblog.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s