2nd Annual Event Engages more than 400 Families in STEAM Activities
On a sunny Saturday in February, more than 400 families converged on the campus of Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg to participate in a variety of family-friendly activities, all centered on the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math – or STEAM.
Shorecrest, a preschool-12th grade independent school in St. Pete, has sponsored and hosted the event since its inception in 2016. “STEAM subjects and projects are a part of what we do everyday at Shorecrest,” says Dr. Anna Baralt, Shorecrest Director of Educational Technology and STEAMfest Committee Chair. “We launched STEAMfest as an outlet for sharing this kind of engaging, experiential learning with the greater community.”
The community has embraced STEAMfest, drawing families from all over the Tampa Bay Area, as well as community partners from other educational organizations. STEAMfest 2017 welcomed exhibitions from Busch Gardens, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Dali Museum, Great Explorations, Mathnasium, PVC ROV, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Wonder Studio, Create 3D, Glazer Children’s Museum and iD Tech Camps.
St. Petersburg dad Matt Gowens brought his 4-year-old son to STEAMfest for the second consecutive year. About the 2017 event he says, “I work in technology and it’s fun to be able to take a step back from being so in the weeds and so in the details and see that kids are actually putting these things to practical uses and doing the things that you do in your job. The experience of it and the older kids actually volunteering there and showing the little kids how to do things makes it even more of a spectacular event.” Gowens’ son, Tucker, is a current student in The Experiential School of Tampa Bay at Shorecrest.
The outdoor festival featured 35 booths including robotics demonstrations, arts and crafts, design and engineering challenges, and mad scientist games. The 2017 STEAMfest also had a dedicated area for younger children 3-6 years-old, which was led by faculty of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay, the 3, 4, and 5-year-old program at Shorecrest, and educators from The Wonder Studio, a popular local play-based, multi-sensory program for toddlers and their caregivers.
Meredith Norman, mother of 4-year old-daughter, says, “We had a really great time. The Experiential School was a great addition to STEAMfest. By far Everrett’s favorite part was seeing an actual heart and seeing the inner workings. Yesterday she said to me, ‘Mom, my heart is pumping oxygen through my body.’ I loved the hands-on activities and getting dirty with painting and sand.”
Plans are already underway for the 2018 St. Pete STEAMfest. The event planning committee welcomes partner organizations to join in this growing celebration of learning through fun and building community. To get involved contact Dr. Anna Baralt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1923, Shorecrest Preparatory School is a PK(3) through 12th grade coed, nonsectarian independent school located in Tampa Bay. Known for its student-centered approach to teaching and learning, Shorecrest is continually on the leading edge of innovation in education. Shorecrest was the first school in Pinellas County to open a school Makerspace, a high and low-tech engineering and design studio for students of ages. In 2016 the school opened the Center for Medical Sciences applied-science track for high school students, won a grant from Steelcase Education for its interdisciplinary work in Middle School, and became an Apple Distinguished School. Learn more at www.shorecrest.org.
Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Contact: Rachel Martin, Director of Marketing & Communications
Office: (727) 522-2111 ext. 223 or (727) 456-7509
Cell: (912) 667-2016