Make it S.T.E.A.M-Y

Arizona S.T.E.A.M fans – Join me on Sept 15th for my talk on making your S.T.E.M and S.T.E.A.M events S.T.E.A.M-Y at Scottsdale Center for the Arts
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“Make it S.T.E.A.M. – Y,” a session about creating experiences through S.T.E.A.M., is an interactive opportunity to see how creativity and play provide clarity around innovating and integrating S.T.E.A.M into business and educational practices with a focus on Process over Product.

Session Objective:

In this session you will learn how to leverage creative, playful methods to enhance your work. What you will learn from this session include the following discussion points:

Discussion Points:

1. Have Fun
Ask are you having fun? If the answer is no – make small ‘micro moment’ changes now!

2. Be Brave
Learn how to walk into creative play with bold bravery and a ‘let’s just try it’ attitude.

3. Brainstorm
Start with playful Ideation and creative brainstorming.

4. Experiment
Allow for the process to let experiential, organic magic to occur. Then learn how to capture this to use next time. This takes bravery to muster up the courage to play creatively but let’s talk about the fact that you have nothing to lose and will likely have a fun time experimenting.

5. Commit
Be deeply committed to Process Over Product because it is a journey – there will be many ever-changing destinations. S.T.E.A.M is already designed to celebrate this – learn how to harness and enhance it.

6. Just Do it
The way to allow for process to take root in your playful creative practice is to say out loud things like ‘I am playing’, ‘I am experimenting’, ‘I want to see what will happen if. . . . . .’ Learn how to Just play, enjoy the process, make and experience a lot of stuff. If you commit to the playtime to just be creative you will create all kinds of stuff, some terrible, some very cool, some you want to repeat.

7. Dump it or Deposit it
If you look at something you have been working on and think maybe there is something there but are not sure then store it for a while by depositing it in a place for safekeeping. Then pull it out when you have a fresh perspective.

8. Time
You have to dedicate time to this. When and how can you set aside time to play and be creative?

 

Natural Playgrounds

Why have kids play and explore in nature? Because they already know what to do there – not instructions required. Kids are hard wired to know how to play outside, it is only we adults who interrupt their potential while they are explore. We do this out of our own fears but what if we allow these young explores to take over and investigate all on their own? Just think of what they might come up with. Beyond playing out in a natural environment what if you are interested in building a playground in the back yard for the kids? consider building one out of natural materials. You can keep it simple and put up a few tree stumps to offer space for imaginative play.

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You could create structures that are more complex and offer a fort like set ups so kids feel like they are in their own land and are able to invent new games with new rules. They can build characters and use their imaginations to create whole new worlds.

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Mix nature with richer character development and storytelling by creating an outdoor structure that is a puppet theater combined with a beverage stand or Lucy from Peanut’s Advise stall. Let kids decide how they want to incorporate nature into the story they tell and how they see the world.

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Next time you think “should I let the kids play an hour more on their tech or should I take them to a nearby playground?” consider how healthy it is for kids to have unsupervised, creative outdoor play. Leave them alone because they know what to do out there, just like you did when you where a kid.

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Build Outside – Miniatures

Every summer we go camping and spend days, weeks and even months outside playing in nature. And every summer my girls and their friends build outdoor habitats for the magical, mysterious creatures known as fairies.

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We encourage  magic and mystery with the kids while they are in their natural surroundings. Imaginative play through constructing outdoor fairy houses from natural materials such as bark, sticks, stones, flowers, grasses, acorns and pine cones; along with small pieces of trash they find around the camp site like bottle caps, broken sunglasses, pieces of plastic. We use this collection time to have conversations with our mini architects to talk about preserving nature and not littering. We talk about how harmful it is to birds and water life when people don’t properly dispose of their garbage.

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When  building a fairy house think about all of the possibilities: such as creating a pebble path, making a fence out of sticks, a walnut-shell bathtub,  leaf hammock, a bark bed or a stone table.

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You can do this in your own back yard, at a playground or even in a container filled with dirt on a balcony of an apartment. You need only to get outside, take a walk, carry a bag or a bucket and collect things. Bring back the found goodies to the place you will construct and begin the process to create a welcoming home for fairies.

Want more ideas? Check out these books – they are some of our favorites:

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Fairy House: How to Make Amazing Fairy Furniture, Miniatures, and More from Natural Materials

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.38.43 PMFairies: Real Encounters With Little People

Visit our website: Laboratory5       Follow us on Twitter: @lab5     Become a fan on Facebook: Laboratory5
Contact Us at anytime – we’d love to hear from you