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Posted On:
February 15, 2016
at 10:53 pm


All Connected and STEAMed Up!




What’s the connection? AZ SciTech Festival’s Partner Strong Ties, TURN UP FOR STEAM event – has it all and more!

A weekend filled with and fueled by STEAM. The 3-day event, with its overarching theme, the Science of Sound, is filled to the brim with ingenious innovations, new technology and hands on exhibits including games, coding and even a Coding Hackathon.

So much going on it’s almost impossible to choose – reserve the weekend, February 19, 20 and 21st and plan to attend the annual event at Phoenix College in the West valley area. And by the way, we hate to name drop, but the AZ SciTech Festival and its partners are known for their “pizzazz” and the guest list of those interacting with the students at Turn Up for STEAM is quite impressive; DISNEY STUDIOS, LaMar Queen of MusicNotes in LA and Black Poet Ventures from Phoenix (putting the “A- arts” in STEAM); GOOGLE AND GO DADDY!

Here’s an overview of the STEAMED UP weekend:

FRIDAY: The science of sound, how specific principles of science are actually integrated into music…Hip Hop! It’s the world of rhythm and rhyme and hip-hop…where science meets art. Filled with a high pumping, energetic, and fun exploration of science using hip-hop as the tool. Students will learn: the biology and physics of sound; the use of technology for audio recording sound using software and the microphone; how engineers apply vibration, wavelengths, frequency, and amplification when producing sound; mathematics found in sound, such as fractions, and delve head first into the arts and musical expressions that include learning technology for making music.

SATURDAY: It’s more than just a game! The Coding Hackathon is an incubator of ideas that involves idea creation, design process, development, test, and presentation where students are quickly transformed from player to creator by learning to program while they create their own game through coding and the use of Beta: The Game, a special software platform that produces instant gaming effects and collaborations. Hidden Level Games, a New York based software company, will teach students how to use their game development software (Beta The Game) which features #CodePop, a “tweet‐sized” programming language.

SUNDAY: A day of celebration and culmination of the entire weekend that features the Pathway to STEM Parent Panel. An exciting and thoroughly unique finale of the event is when the kids get to “strut their stuff”. The students demonstrate and present what they learned, experienced and created during the event. And as for the celebration – it is a big one because Sunday is the day to celebrate and honor Black History month.

Loretta Cheeks, co-chair of the event and Strong TIES Founder stresses, “…this is a community-building partnership initiative, connecting youth to resources, mentors, organizations, tools and techniques grounded in STEAM. The event celebrates the genius and possibilities of our metro-Phoenix youth and ignites STEAM innovations.”

In the words of one of the parents attending last year, Rose Robinson from the Prairie View A&M University (Northwest campus); tweeted that she was “apprehensive because it’s a gaming workshop, but now I know it’s computer science, so glad I brought my son!”

Perhaps the underlying philosophy of the event can best be described by educator Marcus Roberts “take what a young person knows, and give them the tools to use what they know, to unlock what they don’t know.” Cheeks recently had a group of youths at an event. She asked them to take out their cell phones (which took about one second!). She then asked if they knew how the texts they send from their phone gets to their friend’s phone. For this and other steaming questions, plan to spend time at the Turn Up For STEAM event. You’ll be glad you attended.

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