As part of STE(A)M Truck’s presence at recent Maker Faire Atlanta, Maker VISTA members Lauren Schramm and Jamera Jones created an interactive mosaic that would invite attendees to contribute their own unique piece. With community engagement and community building set as primary goals, community-created art seemed like a natural vehicle and vessel. Lauren created a paper grid on a large wooden board, which would act as a map for all of the mosaic tile pieces. Each attendee/guest artist (they had over 120!) received a paper square, the same size as a mosaic tile piece. Artists would use paint-markers to copy an image from the paper square onto ceramic tiles. Each paper square had a corresponding number/letter combination on the large wooden grid. Once all the individual mosaic tiles were glued into place, a giant version of the STE(A)M Truck logo was produced. Most of the participants were children, and these young makers loved seeing their art become a part of something much larger!
Additionally, STE(A)M Truck has been partnering with the Arthur M. Blank YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays to introduce STEM and STEAM learning to 3rd and 6th graders. The students start a new project every week, and during one week in late October, their project was to design and build a structure that could support a large marshmallow. The tools and supplies on hand were spaghetti noodles and smaller marshmallows. In the beginning, Maker VISTA member Jamera observed that many students were frustrated because they were having a hard time building with the given fragile materials. Through some failed attempts, they eventually discovered that a square and/or triangle foundation were the strongest shapes to use for a base of their projects. Using this technique, a lot more of the students were able to build successful structures to hold up their large marshmallows – and therefore, navigated concepts of weight, balance, and design all on their own.